Rarely do we find a more gritty finish to a league season anywhere in the world but the two chances that Shillong Lajong had in injury time was probably a hear-in-mouth moment for every neutral and Aizawl fan. In the end, they came off as the winners. They are a team of rejects and journeymen with a salary cap that just about as much as how much Soni Norde is payed by Mohun Bagan and they have outrun them to the I-League title. If this really was the last I-League season as we know it, it was one for the ages.
Shillong Lajong 1-1 Aizawl, Match highlights:
2101 hrs IST: FULL TIME!! AIZAWL HAVE WON THE I-LEAGUE TITLE AND THE CELEBRATIONS BEGIN.
2057 hrs IST: Ohh that would have been something! Four minutes of injury time and Lajong take two shots on goal, first deflected away, second hits the post out.
2053 hrs IST: A cross into the box and Kamo rises majestically, couldn’t get enough power. On the other end, Dika is taken out just inside the box and appeals for the spot kick, referee says no.
2046 hrs IST: When Mizoram last won the Fed Cup, the state chief minister had declared a public holiday. Wonder what it will be this time, if Aizawl hold on, that is. They are on course to becoming the first North Eastern team to win a top tier title.
2044 hrs IST: Aizawl not choosing to sit back and defend. On the other hand, they are stepping up the ante in attack.
2041 hrs IST: Mohun Bagan lead Chennai City. Aizawl need to keep the scoreline the way it is for at least 12 more minutes.
2038 hrs IST: Kamo goes in for a tackle on the Lajong full back and the ball rolls out. He gets up, walks two steps and then goes down clutching his knee. Takes up a few valuable seconds.
2031 hrs IST: GOAL!! Lajong goalkeeper makes a blunder and Aizawl punish them. It should have been a simple take for Vishal Kaith but he came off his line, had second thoughts and went back. By this time, the ball went past him, hit the post and bounced back into the path of substitute William. The away supporters and Aizawl players celebrate hysterically.
2026 hrs IST: Another big chance for Aizawl, Shillong allowing the pressure to get to them. It was a corner and Lajong fail to clear it properly, the ball is sent back in and it is absolute chaos inside the box, the Lajong ‘keeper finally takes it into his hands.
2024 hrs IST: Aizawl find the back of the net and the players go berzerk but the goal is ruled out for off side. Replays show that the referee was spot on with his call.
2022 hrs IST: Jayesh Rane with a brilliant run slicing through the heart of the Lajong defence, the ball is snatched away from him inside the box and cleared. It finds Dika with only Zotya Ralte back to stop him.
2015 hrs IST: It has been a bright start from Aizawl but haven’t been clinical in the final third, so no goals to show.
2012 hrs IST: Second half kicks off, just a reminder, as it stands, Aizawl are winning the I-League title. If Mohun Bagan beat Chennai City and Aizawl lose to Lajong, the title goes to Mohun Bagan.
1957 hrs IST: HALF TIME!! Shillong Lajong lead Aizawl but the latter may still win the title. Mohun Bagan were trailing lowly Chennai City until skipper Katsumi Yusa scored just before the referee blew for half time. Aizawl have, meanwhile stepped up the ante and were dominating possession. They were also helped by the fact that Shillong gave away the ball cheaply on repeated occasions. Aizawl were not happy with the match officials before this match and the way the players and Khalid Jamil are arguing with the referee, it seems they really haven’t warmed up to him yet.
1950 hrs IST: Some sloppy defending from Lajong and Aizawl keep sending in repeated crosses into the box, the keeper finally comes out and punches the ball away.
1945 hrs IST: Aizawl are now dominating possession, piling the pressure on Shillong Lajong. Lajong are meanwhile giving possession away cheaply time and again.
1941 hrs IST: Another big chance there for Aizawl!! Jayesh Rana swings it in, Lajong unable to clear it and it comes to the feet of Kamo who, with his back to goal, back-heels it past the keeper. The man on the line saves it for Lajong. An outrageous attempt!!
1938 hrs IST: Mohun Bagan are trailing against Chennai City, something to calm the nerves for Aizawl FC
1935 hrs IST: Oh what a chance! Aizawl break on the counter, Kamo passes it to the winger who finds Al-Amna ahead of him, the Syrian takes a shot and it is over the cross bar.
1932 hrs IST: Aizawl looking a little tensed at the moment. Gives Shillong ample space and time to put in crosses into the box. When they go into the attack, Kamo takes a shot from a good distance away from goal and it is wayward
1930 hrs IST: Shillong’s Isaac takes a free kick from just outside the box. It misses the Aizawl post by inches. One of the best free kick takers in the country at the moment, Isaac.
1926 hrs IST: Kamo causing all sorts of problems for Shillong, he provokes a free kick 30 yards from goal. It comes to nothing but later dribbles his way into the box. Defenders finally wrestled the ball away from him.
1922 hrs IST: Shillong attack from the right and try to send in a cross, it takes a deflection off Zoltya Ralte and Aizawl can clear it.
1919 hrs IST: All is not lost yet for Aizawl as Mohun Bagan need to win against Chennai to clinch the title. If Bagan do win and the scoreline remains the same at Shillong, the Kolkata giant will win the title. But Aizawl need a draw from this match to put it well past Bagan
1913 hrs IST: GOAL! An anti-climax on the cards? Dika heads in a cross, it hits the underside of the bar and bounces outside. But the ball had crossed the line and Lajong lead!
1910 hrs IST: Five minutes have passed and as it stands, Aizawl are champions of the I-League, injuries are having an effect on Aizawl, clearly missing Alfred Jaryan in midfield.
1851 hrs IST: Regardless of what happens over the 90 minutes in Shillong and Siliguri, Aizawl have pulled off one of the greatest underdog stories in football. The teams have come out to the pitch, we are now seconds away from kick off.