I-League: Aizawl FC faces stern test from Indian Arrows

Arrows is currently placed at the bottom of the table, and a win could see it rise above.

Aizawl FC is winless in its past eight games and is in desperate search of a win.   -  Twitter

Gokulam FC's revival late in the season has opened up the I-League at the top and bottom so much that defending champion Aizawl FC faces Indian Arrows in a must-win game at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium here on Friday.

The host is languishing in the seventh spot with 18 points from 15 matches after losing the crucial North-East derby to Shillong Lajong FC on Monday.

With Indian Arrows and Gokulam FC granted immunity from relegation by the AIFF, Aizawl is facing the threat of demotion and the ignominy of being the first champion side to be demoted in the history of I-League.

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The winless streak for Aizawl FC has stretched into eight games and the side desperately needs a win against the Indian Arrows to stay alive in the competition.

On the eve of the crucial match, Aizawl FC coach Santosh Kashyap was lamtenting about the injuries and sickness of his key players.

"Masih Saighani hasn't fully recovered from his illness. Though he has been training with the squad he is weak and chances of him playing against Arrows looks unlikely as of now " the coach said.

ALSO READ: Masih Saighani: 'Enjoying my stint with Aizawl FC'

Santosh Kashyap said his team will have the advantage of playing at home in front of strong supporters, but added that Indian Arrows is a tough opponent, who played very well against his side in Goa.

"It is very simple we need three points from this match. Though we lost against Lajong we played well and things would have been different if we had grabbed our chances early. This is only their third match under me and the boys are learning. We will play our natural attacking game against Arrows tomorrow, " he said.

Though placed last in the table, Indian Arrows has impressed everyone with its gutsy display. Coach Luis Norton de Matos was nightly impressed with the performance of his boys in the league.

"We have done well and held our heads high against experienced teams. The boys have shown that they belong to this level. We will be the underdogs against Aizawl but we will play our hearts out and make it very difficult for them to win," the coach said.

Match Time: 02:00 PM (IST).

Match Telecast: Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD.

Live Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV.