From Mizoram to Goa, Mapuia hopes for India call-up through Hero I-League performances

The far-eastern state of Mizoram has contributed much to the cause of Indian football in recent years. So much so, that Mizoram is now considered to be one of the hubs of the beautiful game in the country.

Indeed, it was a fairytale story, when a small club – the only club from the state to play in the Hero I-League (Aizawl FC) – became champions in the 2016-17 seasons. That win really helped galvanise Mizo football and inspired a number of younger players to keep playing and make their name in Indian Football.

One such name, currently making his name in the big league is Churchill Brothers FC Goa’s latest acquisition upfront Lalkhawpuimawia. Better known amongst his teammates as Mapuia, the 27-year-old has set the 2019-20 season of the Hero I-League ablaze in his very first match, netting two in Churchill’s 3-0 triumph over former champions Punjab FC.

“You never really think that you’ll have such a great start when you move to a new club. But this was a really good start for me, scoring two goals right away in my first game,” Mapuia said to

“But this is just the start of the season, and we can’t really rest on one good performance. We need to use this performance as a launch-pad and push forward,” he said.

A late transition

Growing up in the Champai district of Mizoram, a young Mapuia would often be seen dribbling his way around the streets or small fields of his village. Although he hails from a family of farmers, all this youngster dreamt of doing was playing the beautiful game for a living.

Having impressed the local football aficionados in the Champai district, Mapuia made move to Aizawl city, where he joined Chanmari West. Having played in the Mizoram Premier League for five seasons, Mapuia went on to sign for Chhinga Veng, and subsequently for Aizawl FC.

While Mapuia may be an established striker in the Hero I-League now, he did not always start off in that position. In fact, he had started off as a left-back, back in his MPL days. However, it was soon suggested to him that his talents could be of more use upfront, and Mapuia soon began to flourish in his new role.

“Playing as a striker is very different from playing as a fullback,” quipped Mapuia. “But it’s not rocket science if you ask me.

“All you need to do is put your mind to it, and pay attention to the finer details of on and off the ball movement. Once you do that, it’s not very difficult to switch positions,” he continued.

And success soon followed.

In fact, it was in his last two seasons in the MPL, that Mapuia won the title twice – once with Chhinga Veng, and once with Aizawl FC.

Last season, Mapuia played a full campaign at Aizawl FC as a striker and finished as the joint third-highest Indian goalscorer with six goals. However, the 27-year-old believes that he has progressed further, and now harbours hopes of making it to the National Team.

“Of course, you always have the dream of playing in the India colours one day. Coach Igor Stimac’s words before the start of the season really motivated me a lot, that if I do perform well, I could play for the country too,” he said.

However, National Team spots come at a premium, and Mapuia is well aware of that fact. “There are a number of good strikers in India, and the competition to get into the team is tough, no matter what the experts say. Getting into the National Team would require a lot of hard work,” he said.

“But I do feel that I have it in me to make it there one day, and I do get the chance, I’ll surely give it my all and try to perform to the best of my abilities.”

For now, however, Mapuia has his sights set on winning the Hero I-League title with Churchill Brothers.

“I’ve won two MPLs, but I’d like to win my first I-League title for Churchill now. We are completely focused on that. Of course, I want to score as many goals as possible – more than last season, hopefully. But I believe that winning the league is more important than personal goals,” Mapuia rounded off.


Credits I-League Media


For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also Read: Juan Mera’s strike gifts Quess East Bengal a point in Ludhiana

We would love to hear your Feedback on your Football Counter experience

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football.

IKF to dispense free international football exposure for children in India

India Khelo Football (IKF) is a non-profit platform aimed at providing kids from India a fair chance to pursue their dream of playing football internationally. IKF shares its vision to…


IDBI Bank to hold trials for a central defender

After successfully conducting their first round of trials on 21st November, MDFA Super Division outfit are now looking to conduct another trial in search of Central Defenders. With football resuming,…


Chedda Nagar FC set to conduct trials for MDFA Super Division

Chedda Nagar Football Fanatics will be conducting trials to reform their MDFA Super Division squad. Being established in 2011, Chedda Nagar is a renowned name in Mumbai football. The team…


IDBI Bank to host trials for MDFA Super Division

With football resuming, IDBI Bank will be conducting trials for the upcoming MDFA Season. The team will participate in the Super Division and will be seen conducting their first round…


Madanpura FA, Sara FA to host trials for the upcoming MDFA season

Sara Football Academy and Madanpura FA to host trials for MDFA Super division & 2nd division and 3rd division respectively on the 19th and 21st of November simultaneously. Sara FA…


FC Hydra to hold trials for women footballers in Bengaluru

FC Hydra will be holding trials for women footballers for the upcoming BDFA A division Women’s league. The club is based out of Bengaluru. FC Hydra will be holding trials…


NLWS FC to hold trials for MDFA 3rd division

NLWS FC is club based in Dadar who have registered themselves in the MDFA 3rd division for the 2020-21 season. The club will be holding trials for the same. Mauli…


The Oranje FC to host trials for MDFA Elite Division

The Oranje FC will be hosting trials for the upcoming MDFA 2020-21 season this November. The club will be participating in the MDFA Elite division this season. Established in 2017,…


Sporting Options FC to hold trials for MDFA 2nd Division

Sporting Options Football Club will be hosting trials for the upcoming 2020-21 football season. The team is currently playing in the MDFA 2nd division. Sporting Options FC was established in…


MDFA 1st Division side Madanpura Sports Club soon to host trials

With football gradually returning, Mumbai based Madanpura Sports Club are slated to conduct trials for the upcoming season. Madanpura Sports Club is the Junior team of Bombay Muslims SC, who…