Battle for pride as Aizawl FC hosts Mohun Bagan

Aizawl FC is seventh in the table with 14 points from 15 games, while Mohun Bagan is currently sixth after 16 games with 23 points and it would want to finish as high up the table as possible in the closing stages of the league.

Aizawl will be playing after a rest of 15 days on its home ground and that should be an advantage.   -  Nissar Ahmad

Former champions Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan will play for pride when face each other in the return- leg fixture of the 12th I-League season at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in the Mizoram capital on Saturday.

Aizawl FC is seventh in the table with 14 points from 15 games. The Mizoram team has now picked up five points since new coach Stanley Rozario took over and has a game in hand over its Saturday opponent Mohun Bagan.

Kolkata giant Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, is currently sixth after 16 games with 23 points and it would want to finish as high up the table as possible in the closing stages of the league.

Aizawl goes into the game as favourites in its home game. The first leg in Kolkata ended in a 2-2 draw, thanks to a brilliant freekick by David in added time and that was probably the game that started Mohun Bagan’s slide.

Aizawl defeated Minerva Punjab FC in its previous match, which would boost its confidence, while Mohun Bagan has lost one and drawn two going into Saturday’s game.

Mohun Bagan still looks formidable though, with an attack comprising players like Cameroon striker Dipanda Dicka, who has scored seven goals already, and Ugandan forward Henry Kisekka, along with Haitian winger Sony Norde in their ranks.

Khalid Jamil was clear about his ambitions from this year’s league campaign during his 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,” he said.

Aizawl’s last game against Gokulam Kerala FC was postponed as the Kozhikode-based side was stuck in Srinagar due to heavy snowfall after its game against Real Kashmir FC. Aizawl, therefore, will be playing after a rest of 15 days on its home ground and that should be an advantage.

Rozario seemed to be trying to drive home that point in the pre-game presser commenting, “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 have good players but they are also struggling for results. We have an upper hand since its a home match.”

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