Tag: Aizawl FC

Gift Raikhan quits struggling Aizawl FC

AIZAWL: IndiaFooty can confirm that Gift Raikhan has resigned as head coach of Aizawl FC.

The former Neroca FC coach has, for a while now, been frustrated by Aizawl FC’s lack of results in the ongoing 2018/19 I-League, and after they lost 1-0 to Indian Arrows at home on Saturday, it appears that was the final straw for Raikhan, who handed in his resignation.

“I have hugely enjoyed my time in Aizawl, taking over after a difficult 2017/18 season and rebuilding the squad to win Mizoram Premier League after three years. However, we did not get the desired results in I-League. And for that, I am the only one responsible. I think it’s the right time for me move on,” Raikhan told IndiaFooty.

Aizawl FC have registered just two wins from their 11 games, and are currently in tenth position on the I-League standings.

Chanmari and Aizawl played out 2-2 draw

Two times Mizoram Premier League champions Aizawl FC and Chanmari FC were able to trade blows throughout as they battled to an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first match of round 2.
Aizawl FC had taken an early lead in the match when Isak Vanlalruatfela put through Lalremsanga who calmly finished it into the net. But their lead only lasted eight minutes as Chanmari FC hit back on a set piece. Laldampuia’s delivery was met by a rising Rosanga for an equalizer.
Chanmari FC then missed a chance to take the lead when bright attacker Lalnunzama failed to test the goalkeeper while Alfred Jaryan and Lalremsanga also missed chances for Aizawl FC.
Aizawl FC retook the lead on the 39th minute when both teams had looked set to go into the break all square when Chanmari FC’s goalkeeper MS Dawngliana miscalculated Isak Vanlalruatfela’s well-struck shot to give momentum to the I-League club going into the break.
Chanmari FC started the second half with intent and their efforts came into fruition midway in the second half. Thomas Lalengkima’s delivery found Lalnunzama who did very well to put his side on level terms.
There was late drama when Chanmari FC’s Rosanga was sent off after he had no choice but to bring down an Aizawl FC player when he was the last line of defence. Chanmari FC was able to keep their shape at the back after being reduced to 10 men even when Aizawl FC went for the kill with the introduction of Vanlalduatsanga.
There was end to end stuff till the final whistle as both teams looked for the winning goal with Chanmari FC’s Lalnunzama again coming close for his side.

Electric Veng FC conquer Aizawl FC again!

MIZORAM: MPL debutants Electric Veng FC pulled off an upset again as they beat Aizawl FC 2-1 in their opening Mizoram Premier League fixture. This is the second time the new top-flight side have beaten the I-League club this season with the victory coming courtesy of an own goal from Alfred and a stunning freekick by Isaak Vanlalpeka.

Aizawl FC had taken control of a relatively quiet first half as they struggled to break down an Electric Veng side who were happy to hold their shape. David Lalrinmuana did rattle the bar from a freekick as Lalkhawpuimawia struggled to find space.

Isaak Vanlalpeka and Vanlalremsanga were bright sparks on the counter for Electric Veng FC and it was EFC who drew first blood when Aizawl FC;s Alfred Jaryan inadvertently put the ball in the back of his own net.

Electric Veng FC doubled their advantage two minutes later when Isaak Vanlalpeka struck a perfect freekick into AFC’s goal. Alfred did make amends when he headed in from a set-piece late on, but it was too late as Electric Veng earned their first three points of the season.

Mohammedan Sporting sign new Ghanaian striker

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club have added Ghanaian striker Phillip Adjah Tetteh to their roster for the ongoing CFL Premier Division ‘A’ as a replacement for Leonce Dodoz, who is sidelined owing to a ankle injury.

Since the former Aizawl FC forward suffered injury at Mohammedan Sporting’s residential training camp ahead of 2018/19 campaign in Kalyani last month, the Black Panthers were running thin on attacking options despite bringing in Princewill Emeka from TRAU, and they have decided to strengthen their options further by bringing on board another foreign striker as they are looking for someone who can compliment Princewill.

The 20-year-old Phillip joins the Black Panthers from Ghana-based Bafali Sporting Club. Phillip has completed his registration at Indian Football Association (IFA) office this afternoon, and he is available for selection against Peerless SC on Thursday.

Aizawl FC appoint 2017/18 I-League’s best coach

AIZAWL, MIZORAM: Aizawl FC on Wednesday have confirmed the appointment of Gift Raikhan as their new Head Coach.

The People’s Club took to their social media platforms to announce Raikhan’s arrival, who succeeded Santosh Kashyap.

The 36-year-old coach joins Aizawl FC having guided Neroca FC for over three years, in which he helped them gain promotion to the top flight from the 2nd Division League in the 2016/17 season, before leading to a surprise second-place finish in I-League in the following season.

Raikhan was also adjudged as the best coach in 2017/18 I-League, however, for all his attributes Neroca FC decided against renewing his contract at the end of last season.

“Gift Raikhan is someone who will definitely bring the wit and experience that we need to rise above this season’s underachievement, and also ensure we are a strong force in challenging for both MPL and I-League title next season.” Aizawl FC owner Robert Royte told IndiaFooty.

Raikhan was previously linked with East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting Club post.

I-League 2017/18: Neroca look to maintain pressure on the top

IMPHAL: After a minor blip, NEROCA have registered back-to-back wins in I-League and their impressive title challenge will be put to the test by defending champions Aizawl FC at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Saturday (February 10, 2018).

Gift Raikhan’s side are on a good run in the Hero I-League. They are second on the table behind Minerva Punjab, with 27 points from 14 games. After a loss in the opening game of the season, NEROCA went on an incredible nine-game unbeaten run before losing to Lajong and Minerva Punjab earlier this month. Since the dual defeats, they have picked up from where they left and edged out Churchill Brothers and Gokulam Kerala in their last two games.

“There will always be pressure because we’re on a very good run now. I feel pressure and all the players feel pressure. But football is all about pressure. We need to work hard. If we don’t win, there is no chance to be champions. So we need to go away from the pressure and work hard,” said Raikhan ahead of their crucial tie against Aizawl FC at home.

Felix Chidi (5) and Subhash Singh (3) have been in good goalscoring form while Nedo Turkovic has been effective off the bench for the I-League new entrants. Rakhan will hope the trio can take full advantage of depleted defending champions.

Aizawl FC head coach Paulo Menezes will be without the services of Masih Saighani for the game against NEROCA. Last season’s title winners are sixth on the table with at least one game in hand compared to the rest of the teams except Gokulam Kerala. They will want to make full use of the games in hand if they are to climb up the table.

Aizawl are on a six-game winless run and will be desperate for three points. A 10-man Aizawl went down against Churchill Brothers in their last match and their last win came against Chennai City almost a month ago (January 13, 2018).

The responsibility to put the ball into the opponents’ net has largely been shared by Andrei Ionescu and Yugo Kobayashi. Aizawl have conceded goals every time they have scored first in their last three games. And against NEROCA, the defence will be Menezes’ biggest worry.

“It will be difficult because NEROCA are a good team. We expect a tough game but we are here to dignify our club so we will fight,” said Menezes.

Aizawl go down to Zob Ahan in ACL qualifier play-off

MUMBAI: Aizawl FC’s failed to progress to the AFC Champions League after Iran’s Zob Ahan beat them 3-1 in qualifier play-off on Tuesday at Fuladshahr in Iran.

The hosts got off to a flyer, with striker Morteza Tabrizi forcing a foul inside Aizawl’s penalty area to earn his side a spot kick inside three minutes. Mehdi Rajabzadeh made no mistakes from the spot to fire the Iranians to an early lead.

Aizawl laboured back into the match, and it was Romanian midfielder Andeir Ionescu who brought them back into the match with a sidefooted finish from inside the box in the 21st minute.

Despite the Indian side’s best efforts, Zob Ahan finally settled the tie with two Tabrezi headers in the final ten minutes. The striker converted two crosses from Sayed Hosseini in the 83rd minute then in added time to seal a difficult win for the Iranian team.

I-League 2017/18: Aizawl FC, Mohun Bagan share spoils

AIZAWL: Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan shared the spoils in an I-League 2017/18 clash played at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl on Thursday.

An eventful encounter which saw a penalty and a red-card ended in a 1-1 draw, with the result taking the two team’s respective point tally to 15 and 17 respectively in 10 and 11 fixtures.

Aizawl remained sixth on the I-League standings, while Mohun Bagan leapfrogged Shillong Lajong into fourth place.

There was a good tempo to the encounter with both sides signalling their intent to play attacking football.

Mohun Bagan looked the livelier of the two sides throughout. The energetic Akram Moghrabi had the first real opening after seven minutes when he broke away through midfield and fired a good low shot that was deflected wide for a corner by the scrambling home defense.

The response was a quick one from the hosts as Leonce Dodoz spun and shot over the bar.

Just before the 20th minute mark, Akram again caused some panic in the home box, but his cross was wasted by Nikhil Kadam.

However, Mohun Bagan were then dealt a huge blow after 32 minutes when Dipanda Dicka, the hero of Kolkata Derby, was forced off with an injury. He was replaced by Manandeep Singh.

Aizawl, meanwhile, continued to show glimpses of their attacking prowess in the first half, but they were let down by their decision making.

That proved to be the trend for the rest of the first half, as the sides went into break goalless.

Aizawl came on very strongly the second half, creating a lot of chances but Dodoz and Andrei Ionescu failed to convert.

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, began to play defensive football and Aizawl ran at them, regularly firing in crosses which their strikers were unable to convert.

Nonetheless, Aizawl’s persistent efforts finally bore fruit in the 73th minute when Lalthathanga slotted home from Dodoz’s pass.

Mohun Bagan, though, did not just lie down and die. They’re a feisty bunch and they rallied back to equalize five minutes later with Manandeep converting from the spot after Aizawl keeper Avilash Paul brought down Akram inside the box.

Thereafter, Mohun Bagan pushed forward for the winning goal. For the last few minutes of the game they even had a 10-men Aizawl after referee gave a straight red to Alfred Jaryan following his challenge on Akram but Mohun Bagan failed to seize the opportunity and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

I-League 2017/18: Neroca stun Aizawl with comeback win

AIZAWL: In a game with an abundance of chances for both sides, Neroca FC triumphed over the reigning champions Aizawl FC at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium to leapfrog East Bengal in the league table.

Nigerian defender Kareem Omolaja (39′) scored for the home side in the first half but Neroca bravely fought back in the second half as Felix Chidi (65′) and Nedo Turkovic (85′) scored in the second half to humble the champions at their home.

Aizawl’s head coach Paulo Menezes made two changes in the playing XI as Lalramhmunmawia and Yugo Kobayashi started in place of suspended Afghan defender Masih Saighani and William Lalnunfela.

The away side made no changes from their win against Indian Arrows. Shambu Mistry was in goal and Gourmangi Singh led the defence alongside Varney Kallon, Ngaseoam Tondonba, and Ashok Singh.

Aizawl got their first shot in the goal in the first minute of the match itself but Andrei’s volley was thwarted away by Shambu. The home side came close to scoring but Andrei’s dipping free-kick struck the woodwork. Neroca fans sang their hearts out in the corner of the stadium but were silenced by Kareem’s goal. The lanky defender leapt above the Neroca’s players as he headed his first goal of the season home.

Gift Raikhan’s boys almost drew the equaliser just before the halftime. Felix Chidi did all the hard work as he skipped past Aizawl defenders, he slid a delightful pass to Subash Singh but the Manipuri forward could not find the back of the neck. Aizawl led by a single in the first half.

The halftime break proved vital for the away side as they started to dominate the game in the second half. But it was the home side who had the first goalscoring chance after the lemon break. Dodoz’s cross was met by Andrei but the Romanian shot again struck the woodwork.

Felix Chidi scored the equaliser in the 65th minute after a wonderful team game broke Aizawl defence.

As everyone in the Aizawl FC dugout started to believe to leave the stadium with one point at least, Turkovic stunned them in the dying embers of the game when he perfectly converted David Biakzara’s cross from the left wing.

Aizawl went all out but the away side’s resolute defence and the heroic goalkeeping from Shambu Mistry denied the reigning champions a point in their fortress.

Aizawl will host Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in their next game on Thursday (January 25) and Neroca will play another Northeastern Derby when they host Shillong Lajong on Wednesday (January 24).

Aizawl fans lodge FIR against Khalid Jamil

AIZAWL: Aizawl FC Central Fans Club has lodged an FIR against East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil in Aizawl Police Station for Public Defamation.

All these started at the Pre-Match Press Conference yesterday, where Khalid said that he did not left Aizawl FC, but Aizawl FC let him go.

Aizawl FC owner Robert Royte, on the contrary, has claimed that Khalid was offered an contract extension but the later decided not to sign the extension and moved to East Bengal for a better pay roll.

Khalid’s statement apparently did not go well with the Aizawl FC faithful, as the infuriated fans brought banners on the match day terming Khalid as ‘traitor’ and booed him throughout the match.

It’s important to note that not all the fans agreed to FIR and the banner.

After the game East Bengal team bus was also blocked by Aizawl FC fans and Khalid had to be escorted by police to post match press conference.