Hero I-League: Only pride to play for as Aizawl host Bagan

I-League 2019-20

Aizawl, February 15, 2019: Two former champions Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan will play for pride as they get ready to battle it out at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Saturday.

The match kicks off at 2 pm IST.

Hosts Aizawl is seventh with 14 points from 15 games. The Mizoram team has now picked up five points since new coach Stanley Rosario took over. They also have a game in hand over Bagan.

Bagan, on the other hand, is currently sixth and will give it their all to finish as high up the table as possible.

Aizawl is clear favorites for this game. The first leg in Kolkata ended in a 2-2 draw thanks to a brilliant freekick by David in added time. That game probably started Bagan’s slide. Aizawl beat Minerva Punjab FC in their previous game. Surely a confidence booster! Bagan has lost one and drawn two, going into Saturday’s contest.

Bagan looks formidable thanks to an attack comprising of Cameroon striker Dipanda Dicka (he has scored seven goals so far), Ugandan forward Henry Kisekka and Haitian winger Sony Norde.

Coach Khalid Jamil was very clear about his ambitions at the pre-match press conference: “We are not thinking about the past. We are not taking tomorrow’s match lightly. We are trying to concentrate all through the 90 minutes. Aizwal’s management is good and they have good players. We must finish well, our target is to finish top four.”

The new coach is trying to build a fighting unit. He is known to be defensive in his approach. Bagan has displayed a compact and tactical defence. The back-four comprising of Eze Kingsley, Gurtej Singh, Bikramjtit Singh, and Amey Ranawade has exhibited a valiant defensive show. They have cut-off the supply for the opposition.

Aizawl’s last game against Gokulam Kerala was postponed. They were stuck in Kashmir due to heavy snowfall after their match against Real Kashmir FC. Aizawl, therefore, will play after a rest of 15 days. That would be an added advantage on home turf!

Coach Stanley Rozario drove home that point in the pre-game presser: “After I got the charge of the team, there were a few transformations and we had different results in the past three matches and they were all big matches.

“Tomorrow’s game is with a big team and we will try to give our best. The Mizo players are very talented. If they play well and as a team then definitely we can be in a better position,” he said. “The three points are very important for us tomorrow. Mohun Began has good players but they are also struggling for results. We have an upper hand since its a home match,” he said.

They have had sparks in Mapuia and David, while foreigners Kromah, Dodoz and Jaryan have been at par. For some reason, the team has not been able to gel well. We are all set for an entertaining game of football!

Also Read: Gokulam face Arrows as Super Cup qualification beckons

Also Read: Ralte tricks as East Bengal slam five past Lajong

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