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East BengalEast Bengal
Aizawl FCAizawl FC
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INDIAN I-LEAGUE

2017/2018 Season

POS TEAM W D L PTS
5 Shillong Laj 4 2 5 14
6 Aizawl FC 4 2 3 14
7 Churchill Br 3 1 5 10
View Full Table »

How champions Aizawl got their groove back

File pic: Against Minerva, Leonce Dodoz dropped wide to support the Aizawl forwards

In 2016-17, Aizawl FC showed that sometimes it is the best-prepared team, and not necessarily the strongest ones on paper, that wins leagues. 

On Wednesday, Minerva Punjab traveled to Aizawl for only their second away match of the season, and looked like they might come away with a valuable point, before Aizawl showed their tactical flexibility to swing the match decisively in their favour. Kareem Omoloja (72nd minute) and Andrei Ionescu (85th) took Aizawl two-up before Girik Khosla got a consolation...

Sen: Aizawl lack Jaryan's spark in midfield

Aizawl had 33 shots against Churchill Brothers, but could get only three of them on target

Defending I-League champions Aizawl FC have begun the new season with four points from two games, following a 1-0 win against Churchill Brothers and a 2-2 draw against East Bengal.

Their performance against Churchill, while dominant, would worry coach Paulo Meneses in terms of the lack of finishing. Aizawl had 33 shots but could only get three of them on target. They also left gaping holes at the back for Churchill to exploit. 

The key to Aizawl controlling games better last season was Liberian...

William helps Aizawl make a point... and secure another

East BengalEast Bengal
Aizawl FCAizawl FC
2
2
FT
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William Lalnunfela (left) was the difference between the sides at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday night.
William Lalnunfela (left) was the difference between the sides at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday night.

If you believe in omens, Tuesday night at the Salt Lake Stadium must have been exciting if you are a fan of reigning I-League champions Aizawl FC.

Aizawl were beginning their 2017-18 campaign away to East Bengal -- just as they had done eight months earlier in the previous season. They had capped the last season with a dramatic away draw to Shillong Lajong thanks to William Lalnunfela, and William did the star turn again on Tuesday, yanking his team back from the brink to help hold mighty East Bengal...

I-League set to kick off under Indian Super League's shadow

Aizawl FC celebrate their 2016-17 I-League title
Aizawl FC celebrate their 2016-17 I-League title

Ever since it began three seasons ago as a month-long 'festival of football', the Indian Super League has steadily eaten into the relevance previously enjoyed by the I-League - for long the undisputed top league in India. This year the ISL secured the right to be held as a 'proper' league over four months. With it - it won over most of the country's best Indian footballers and poached an I-League club as well. And while the I-League was thrown a bone by being telecast on Star Sports, the juiciest...

I-League: 10 years, 10 memories

Mohun Bagan players celebrate after winning the I-League in 2015.
Mohun Bagan players celebrate after winning the I-League in 2015.

The I-League completes 10 years today -- the first match of the erstwhile National Football League (NFL) was played on November 24, 2007 in Margao between reigning champions Dempo and Salgaocar, with Dempo winning 3-0. ESPN's writers who have covered the league over these years pick 10 memories of matches or moments that they witnessed first-hand.

Odafa's day out - Debayan Sen

Jan 2008, Margao

It was the first season of the I-League, and Churchill Brothers were hosting Mahindra United. Churchill's...