Aizawl FC relagates from Indias top league

The I-League's relegation battle came to a stellar climax on Sunday, 24th April, as Aizawl FC bid farewell to the top division following confirmation that their tally of 16 points was not enough to save them from the clutches of the dreaded drop, this season.

A sombre mood engulfed the camp of the team from the northeast capital of Mizoram as they faced upto prospect of life in the second division following Shillong Lajong and Mumbai FC's win over their respective opponents, East Bengal and DSK Shivajians.

The Reds of Lajong edged the Red and Golds 1-0 whilst Mumbai FC thumped DSK Shivajians 4-0 at the Cooperage.

Aizawl's inaugural season didn't go according to plan. They began their journey in the country's top division as the only side to get promoted after finishing top of the pile in the I-League's second division.

Beginning their life under coach Manuel Retamero Fraile, the manager who led them to triumph in the Mizoram Premier League (MPL), Aizawl had pressure heaped on them to follow the steps of another northeast side, Royal Wahingdoh, who finished third in the league under Santosh Kashyap in their only season in the I-League last time around.

However, they faced a rotten start, losing four of their fist six games in the top division, with their only win in the period coming against DSK Shivajians. It was then that they sacked coach Retamero, a former Bahrain national team techncial director, and appoint Jahar Das in the hotseat.

However, results seldom improved with the team managing just a further three wins in 10 league games, with the most famous of that coming against Mohun Bagan.

The northeastern side managed to score just 15 goals, the second lowest of all the competing teams whilst conceding 21 goals.  They amassed 16 points in the season from 16 games, the second lowest after DSK Shivajians.

Though the Shivajians will now finish last on the table, and Aizawl in 9th, DSK's relegation satey catchnet pulls Aizawl in to the second division.

Introspection will be the order of the day for Das and all the club, to determine what else could've been done to salvage a season in the top flight for Aizawl, but all they can do now is to remiscent on what could have been.
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