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I-League: Aizawl FC eye full points against Mohun Bagan at home

Aizawl FC are currently placed sixth on the I-League table with 14 points after nine games. They have already suffered two home defeats, as compared to just one last season. Mohun Bagan are fifth with 16 points from 10 games

football Updated: Jan 24, 2018 19:25 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Aizawl
I-League,Aizawl FC,Mohun Bagan AC
Aizawl FC players during a practice ahead of their I-League clash.(AIFF)

The last time Aizawl FC hosted Mohun Bagan in the I-League, they were on the cusp of history. On April 22, 2017, Aizawl beat the Kolkata giants at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, and then drew with Shillong Lajong in an away fixture to become the first club from North-East to win the national club title.

The defending champions host Bagan on Thursday afternoon; once again in need of full points if they are to harbour any hopes of defending their title. Aizawl are currently placed sixth on the table with 14 points after nine games. They have already suffered two home defeats, as compared to just one last season.

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Their last game against Manipur’s NEROCA FC contributed to one of those home losses.

Bagan on the other hand will be high on confidence after beating their arch-rivals East Bengal for the second time this season in their last outing. They currently occupy fifth position with 16 points from 10 games.

“Winning the derby is always a good motivation but playing at Aizawl is always hard. Last season we lost at Aizawl and our title hope faded away. Our aim is to win tomorrow and to stay in championship contention,” Mohun Bagan head coach Sankar Lal Chakraborty told reporters.

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Bagan though have already got the better of Aizawl (2-0) in the first leg at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. But the home side can avenge that defeat and also replace the Green and Maroons at fifth spot, if they come away with full points on Thursday.

“Like every other match, we will try to win this one and aim for three points. In our earlier meeting, we controlled the match and were unlucky as we conceded an own goal and in my opinion, the second goal was off-side. Tomorrow will be a different match and we will not lose the match,” Aizawl coach Paulo Menezes said beaming with confidence.

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Surprisingly, Bagan have lost two and drawn three games at home this season but are yet to lose on their travels. On Thursday though, they could be looking at their first away loss when they face Aizawl and its ‘Red Army’.

First Published: Jan 24, 2018 19:25 IST