Aizawl FC won’t win I-League easily: Thangboi Singto, Shillong Lajong coach
Aizawl FC are one point shy of being crowned the I-League champions but their rival in the last match - Shillong Lajong - is not ready to let them taste glory easily on SundayUpdated: Apr 26, 2017 17:01 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
AizawI FC has been the greatest wonder story of Indian football in recent times. From a relegated team that was given a chance to return to I-League to becoming title contenders, the journey has been magical, to say the least.
The Khalid Jamil-managed side needs just a draw against Shillong Lajong in the final I-League game on Sunday to seal the title. The eulogies have already been written, but Lajong coach Thangboi Singto reminds that there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.
“They have not won the title as yet. We will not let Aizawl FC walk in and take away the title. We won’t let them win it easily. It will be a very tightly contested clash between both the teams,” Singto said in an interview to AIFF.com.
Aizawl FC have 36 points from 17 matches while its only title contender Mohun Bagan have 33 points from as many games. Aizawl can win the title even if they lose, but for that they would hope that Bagan lose to Chennai City FC in the final clash.
‘Will make it difficult’
Lajong was the first club from the North-East to play in the I-League and they are not ready to let their younger counterparts from Mizoram romp to a win at their homeground.
“It’s the North East Derby – our match against Aizawl FC and we are gearing up in that fashion. We know what Aizawl FC have a lot at stake and we plan to make it even more difficult for them,” he said.
He was, however, happy with the way North-East clubs have come up in the I-league. Lajong is in the fifth place of the 10-team league and can finish in top-four.
“North East has been the footballing hub of India for long. But now, you can see there has been a shift of power from the traditional Indian Clubs to a club from the North East. It only proves that there is an overall development in Indian football,” Singto said.
Singto was, however, effusive in his praise of what Aizawl achieved this season.
“Aizawl FC have been extremely consistent this season and have done exceedingly well. That is why they are on top of I-League at the moment. They (Aizawl FC) have displayed good attacking football but their ability to play as a team has been the striking feature,” he said.
With the I-league title race going till the last day, it is the football fans who are the gainers, according to Singto.
“It will be a treat for the neutrals and for every football fan in India. The fans will have to keep one eye for on Mohun Bagan’s match and one eye on the North East Derby. It is as exciting as it gets – the perfect climax for the 10th I-League,” he said.
First Published: Apr 26, 2017 16:49 IST