Kalyani (West Bengal), Feb 27 : Aizawl FC will need a win against Chennai City at the Kalyani Municipal stadium on Sunday to finish the first phase of the I-League within the top six.
Aizawl go into Sunday’s match at seventh place with 12 points, trailing sixth-placed Mohammedan SC and fifth-placed Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) by one point.
The I-League is being played in two phases in the shortened season due to Covid-19 pandemic.The first phase ends on Monday after which the league will be divided into two groups.
Group A will consist of the top six while Group B will be made of the remaining five teams.Teams will play each other once in a round-robin format within the groups and points from both phases will be put together to determine the league winners and the team that gets relegated.
Chennai City FC lost their second consecutive game in injury time when they were beaten by Mohammedan 2-1, putting them in ninth place with nine points from as many games.The loss confirmed Chennai’s ouster from the race for the top-six.However, with Indian Arrows and Sudeva Delhi sure not to be relegation, head coach Satyasagara’s side will need to pick up as many points as possible, starting against Aizawl.
“I am really proud of the local lads.They showed the true potential to play at such a high level of football against quality opposition.We have been quite unlucky in the last two games.But I am happy to see the players working hard in training and matches,” said Satyasagara.
“Aizawl are a very good team to play against.They have a similar style of football to us — hold possession, build up from the back.They have had a few good results, and they will be giving it all since they are still fighting for top-six.
We respect them, and will try our best to match them tomorrow,” the Singaporean further said.
Real Kashmir had beaten Aizawl 1-3 in their last match.
“We are pretty good in terms of keeping the ball, and creating chances.However, Kashmir had the edge over us because of its physicality, which we lacked.I believe, if we convert our chances and avoid silly mistakes, we can take all three points,” said Aizawl FC coach Yan Law.
“The next game is like a final for us.We are also depending on other team’s results.Chennai is a fantastic team.
Despite being a man down, they played excellently to hold a team like Mohammedan until the dying minutes.We have to go into the game and get all three points to move up into the top six,” Law added.