Aizawl: Back to winning ways after their dominating display against East Bengal in the Kolkata derby, Mohun Bagan will look to carry on the momentum when they take on champions Aizawl FC at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium on Thursday.
A win against the Kolkata giants at home last season propelled Aizawl to the crown, making them the first team for the Northeast to achieve the dream and come Thursday the champions will hope for the same. Only this time they are sixth and need a win to keep themselves alive in the campaign.
But standing at sixth with 14 points, Aizawl can dispossess Bagan on fifth with a victory and if they win by a 3-0 or more margin of goals, they can well enter the top four. Their home ground considered a fortress last season where they lost just one match, have already seen them lose twice this term.
Coach Paul Menezes however was confident of a win when he said, “We will not lose tomorrow.”
The last time these two teams met it was at Kolkata where Sankarlal Chakraborty made his coaching debut with a comfortable 2-0 victory but for Menezes it was more of them being unlucky on the afternoon than Bagan winning it.
“In our earlier meeting, we controlled the match and were unlucky as we conceded an own goal and in my opinion the second goal was off-side,” said the Portugese. “But tomorrow will be a different match and we will not lose the match,” warned Menezes beeming with confidence.
Bagan on the other are equally upspirited especially after that derby win and currently fifth, standing on 16 points from 10 games, the wound of losing the title last season after a defeat at Aizawl is very recurrent on their minds.
“Winning the derby is always a good motivation but playing at Aizawl is always hard,” said coach Chakraborty. Last season we lost at Aizawl and our title hopes faded away. Our aim is to win tomorrow and to stay in the championship contention,” he told ahead the match.
Bagan though have already beaten Aizawl at home and will be looking to do the same on Thursday irrespective of their home form. Surprisingly, the Mariners have lost two and drawn three at home but are still unbeaten on the road.