MUMBAI: Can they do it? Will they do it? I-League fans all over the country just can not stop talking about the phenomenal success Aizawl FC are enjoying in the current season.
With just one round of action remaining in I-League, people are just curious to know whether the side that had been relegated in it’s debut in 2016 and were reinstated only after a remarkable show in Federation Cup by reaching finals can write one of the most romantic tale in the history of Indian football.
No one in their wildest of dreams, ever imagined that Aizawl FC who written off as relegation candidates at the start of the league will be top of the table after 17 rounds. They lead the standings three points ahead of Mohun Bagan and need to play only a draw with Shillong Lajong FC in their last match if they are to be crowned champions.
It was never thought possible for a team to be bottom of the league in April 2016 and top in April 2017. Sure, the heavyweights have stagnated or regressed. But Aizawl FC have not simply capitalized on the weakness of others. Aizawl FC’s success this season has been based on coach Khalid Jamil’s tactics. The counter attacking football they play is one of the finest in the league and can embarrass even the wealthiest clubs of Kolkata.
Since it’s inception in 1996 as National Football League only eight teams have managed to win the title and throughout the I-League era, the title race has been mostly dominated by the Goan clubs before Bengaluru FC’s invincibles left a major landmark during past few seasons but Aizawl FC found a way to outperform all other teams that have big names, high profile coaches and spent much more on their squad.
Therefor, if Aizawl FC can hold their nerve and pull off the unthinkable, then it would certainly be a joy to see the underdog win in this age of big money corporate clubs.