Aizawl FC script history, become first north-east club to win I-League title

In the end, all you could see were hands, pairs and pairs of hands, reaching out to the faceless bunch of men in the middle. Someone held aloft a trophy with a shiny globe on top. In the sea of heads, it glistened; it seemed like the eye of a whirlpool of humans, the epicentre of a man-made quake.In the middle, somewhere, was the that group of men who caused this tremor in the first place. A mere 25 policemen in attendance, Meghalaya’s Chief Minister in attendance too – maybe somewhere a top cop would be on his way out – but over 3,000 delirious Mizos had spilled out onto the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium turf, happy to prove the notion that Aizawl – and Indian football – was a people’s idea, simple and straight. You had to pinch yourself to realise this wasn’t just a show a TV. Aizawl FC were the champions of Indian football, and you’d still scarcely believe it.But first. Just how difficult – and different – is the idea of not losing than simply winning, was cruelly dawning upon Aizawl FC as they chased Shillong Lajong’s blistering early pace and ninth minute goal.They would lose their shape, as they briefly did their composure contesting a controversial Dicka goal which seemed to bounce off the line, and even the scorer being offside. Lajong, with the fourth spot finish out of reach, would now look to spoil the Aizawl party, and relish these uncharacteristic offerings by the league leaders – of a lack of confidence and a strange absence of ideas.In an unexpected twist, 34 minutes into the twin encounters being on either side of the hills in this I-League final round – down in Kolkata where Mohun Bagan hosted Chennai City FC and ferociously sought a win, any win – a wild cheer rose in Aizawl section of the Shillong stadium which was rapidly turning morose by the minute, when the announcer told us that the Kolkata giants were trailing.So there it was, Khalid Jamil’s boys trailing the game, but still ahead in the final analysis as it unfolded. It was the most delightful paradox – you are behind, yet you are ahead.That reprieve would last precisely ten minutes give or take 30 seconds, a wonderful bubble surrounding you which you would not want to burst, yet still keep stretching it to its limit. Because it was also the phase where Aizawl would play their best football, calm and composed in their build-up, like they had done all season, surprising many. The chances would come, as would even the aimless heaves at the Lajong goal.

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