© Getty Images (representational photo)
Mohun Bagan will play away fixture against Aizawl FC © Getty Images (representational photo)
Aizawl: After the international break, Hero I-League is slated to resume tomorrow as Aizawl FC take on reigning champions Mohun Bagan in the return leg tomorrow at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. In their last encounter in Kolkata, Mohun Bagan registered a 3-1 win against the debutants. Incidentally, it was the first ever I-League match played by Aizawl FC. Since then, Mohun Bagan have garnered 25 points from 11 games while Aizawl FC have earned nine. A win for Mohun Bagan AC tomorrow would widen the gap between themselves and Bengaluru FC who are 3 points behind.

Meanwhile, a defeat for Aizawl would put them in more danger of relegation. Neither of the sides will be willing to let the three points slip through their fingers tomorrow. At the pre-match press conference here, Aizawl FC coach Jahar Das spoke of his expectation from the match. “We are well-prepared for tomorrow’s match. We are going to do something to win three points,” he said. Fully confident of the abilities of his boys, he added, “The biggest upset of Hero I-League is going to happen tomorrow.”

Mohun Bagan AC will be facing Aizawl FC without some of their key players like Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sony Norde, Pronay Halder, Balwant Singh and Pritam Kotal. Das opined, “Though they will be playing in the absence of many of their star players, Mohun Bagan are always a team to beat. We will have to work hard on the pitch to earn three points.”

The Aizawl side too suffered a setback with Emmanuel Chigoze and Lalchullova ruled out of the match. Aizawl FC player Lalchhawnkima also spoke of his excitement. “I expect us to win. Being at the bottom of the table, we have pressure on us to win. I hope we can use the pressure to our advantage and win tomorrow.”

Mohun Bagan assistant coach Shankarlal Chakraborty mentioned the Mariners’ desire to win tomorrow. “We have to win the match tomorrow as only 5 matches are to be played from now.” He added, “Aizawl FC have been playing brilliantly although they could not get the right result on every occasion. We’re expecting a tough fight tomorrow.”

Regarding the absence of some of his players, he said, “Mohun Bagan always play as a team. We’re completely aware of the fact who are not going to play tomorrow and others are gearing up to give a shot in their absence. It’ll be the perfect stage for them.” PTI AH