‘Underdogs’ Aizawl FC would hope to pull off a Leicester City and complete an extraordinary fairytale when the NorthEastern Club clashes swords against former Hero I-League champions Mohun Bagan in the Final of the Hero Federation Cup 2016 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday, May 21.
Aizawl FC have been the dark horses of this edition ‘Champions of India,’ Bengaluru FC 5-3 on aggregate in the Round of 8 (home and away) before edging out a 2-2 draw on aggregate against Sporting Goa in the semifinals and progressing on away goals rules into the Final.
They are taking inspiration from their 2-1 win over Bagan in the Hero I-League. It was Aizawl FC who had halted Mohun Bagan’s unbeaten run, a result which perhaps eventually cost Mohun Bagan the Hero I-League title.
“We have defeated Mohun Bagan before and we can defeat them again. We are all united for the cause and we are all hoping that the result sways in our favour,” Aizawl Coach Jahar Das told AIFF Media.
“We will be playing as if it will be the last day on Earth,” he added.
“Obviously, we have to be at our best against Mohun Bagan. But when you play such big matches you need that bit of luck,” he maintained. “I only hope that lady luck stays on our side.”
Aizawl FC’s biggest challenge will be to contain the rampaging Mohun Bagan forward line. The three foreign recruits – Sony Norde, Cornell Glen and Yusa Katsumi have been in devastating form. Add to that the form of Jeje Lalpekhlua, the four-man army have been sheer magic.
“I have been vocal in my appreciation of the Players. I told them that your value as Players has risen because of your performance in the Hero Federation Cup. I have also told that if you can raise your performance to a higher level in the Final, your value will further increase,” Das informed.
Joel Sunday, who has been doing most of the scoring for Aizawl FC told AIFF Media that they are “raring to go.”
“We are all geared up to give it our best shot. Impossible is nothing. We just have to play like our lives depend on this match,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan’s Head Coach Sanjoy Sen refused to brand his Team as the favourites and Aizawl FC as the underdogs, going into the Finals of the Hero Federation Cup.
“It will be foolish to say Mohun Bagan are the favourites,” Sen stated.
“Aizawl FC have proved themselves in this competitions and they deserve to be in the Final. We respect our opponents. It will be a tough match for us,” Sen felt.
by AIFF Media