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I-League 2017: Shillong Lajong 1-1 Aizawl FC - Defiant Reds from Mizoram crowned champions of India logo 30-04-2017

Aizawl FC have played themselves into the annals of Indian football by landing the I-League crown after a 1-1 away draw against Shillong Lajong on Sunday.

Though Aser Pierrick Dipanda (9') got the lead for Lajong, William Lalnunfela (67') scored a historic goal to give Aizawl the point they needed to finish top of the table.

Khalid Jamil's side were without the services of influential skipper Alfred Jaryan and Ashutosh Mehta and the duo were replaced with Lalruatthara and Laltanpuia. Kamo Bayi started up front while Jayesh Rane and Mahmoud Al Amna took on the creative mantle. Zohmingliana Ralte and Eze Kingsley were the preferred centre-backs.

For Thangboi Singto's side, Aser Pierrick Dipanda returned to the starting XI while Isaac Vanmalsawma and Yuta Kinowaki were deployed in midfield. Redeem Tlang was preferred on the wings ahead of Rupert Nongrum.

Amidst a charged atmosphere, it was Shillong Lajong who began brightly. They looked at ease and focused while Aizawl were all over the place at the beginning. The excellent start paid off as Aser Pierrick Dipanda scored his 11th goal of the season to raise concerns for Khalid Jamil. Redeem Tlang released Samuel Lalmuanpuia down the left and his cross into the box was diverted into the net by a brilliant header from the Cameroonian striker.

The goal seemed to have rattled the Aizawl players who started to get into arguments with the referee and seemed to lose focus. Unsurprisingly, Albino Gomes was called upon to make a diving save from Isaac's freekick after Dicka was brought down by Eze Kingsley.

Meanwhile, Mahmoud Al Amna also missed a glorious chance and Aizawl started to settle into the game. In the 29th minute, Kamo Bayi made his way into the box and was rudely barged off the ball by Nim Dorjee Tamang but the referee Pranjal Banerjee waved off the appeals from the Aizawl players, much to the chagrin of the away fans.

Bayi could have scored a goal eight minutes later when he came up with a brilliant backheel from close range which beat Vishal Kaith but bounced back off Chinglensana Singh on the line.

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Aizawl finished the half on the ascendancy but were not able to find an equaliser as the teams broke for half-time.

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