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Aizawl FC can’t afford to let I-League title slip: Coach Khalid Jamil

Aizawl FC will play the season’s final I-League clash against Shillong Lajong on April 30. They need a draw to win their maiden title

football Updated: Apr 27, 2017 18:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
I-League,Aizawl FC,Shillong Lajong
Aizawl FC coach Khalid Jamil is soaking in the pressure ahead of their crucial I-League clash against Shillong Lajong(AIFF)

Aizawl FC are on the cusp of history. All the Mizoram football club needs on to do is draw against Shillong Lajong in their final 2016-17 I-League game on April 30.

As Aizawl FC embark on their final mission of needing a draw to clinch their maiden I-League title, head coach Khalid Jamil, in an effort to keep his boys free from the tension, is willing to soak in all the pressure himself.

“To accomplish something you have to lose something else and I have lost a lot till now,” Khalid was quoted as saying by the AIFF.

On being reminded of his rival counterpart Thangboi Singto’s quote that ‘Lajong won’t allow Aizawl FC to walk away with the title,’ Khalid said, “Yeah, that’s football. Why will they allow us to run away with the title? We have to fight for every inch and we will.”

READ | Aizawl FC won’t win I-League easily: Thangboi Singto, Shillong Lajong coach

“Nobody spared a word for us at the starting. We have seen the league through thick and thin and finally, we’re down to here,” he added.

“My players always play from their heart. They never shy away from doing something which they love. Aizawl players love playing football, they don’t alienate themselves from doing that,” the former India international added.

He stressed that “being the better team doesn’t matter much; rather all that matters is playing better on that day”.

Aizawl FC head coach Khalid Jamil has also played seven matches for India. ( AIFF )

“We beat Mohun Bagan, we also beat East Bengal. But that doesn’t mean we are better than them. It just means that on that day we might have played better football than them. We churned out the result which was important for us,” he continued.

READ | Mizoram to soon get a MCG-sized cricket stadium, says CM Lal Thanhawla

“I never ever dreamt of this day. Boys are enjoying it right now. I don’t want to spoil their mood now but we still need one point. We can’t afford to leave it loose until we grab it. There can’t be any margin of error. We need to get the job done. We can’t afford to let it slip.”

Khalid did not deny that it will be tough without Ashutosh Mehta and Alfred Jaryan, both of whom are suspended after receiving four yellow cards.

“It will be very tough without Alfred and Ashutosh. But we can’t just sit and think over their suspension. We have to find out how we’d overcome this. I trust my entire team and we will try to get Lajong’s skin,” he concluded.

First Published: Apr 27, 2017 17:00 IST