The season opener between two former champions ended in a goalless draw at Aizawl. The visitors have 53 percent possession and six attempts on the goal, as against Aizawl's three. But the better chances have come Aizawl's way towards the end of the first half. Bagan, off those six, only found one attempt on target, while two for Aizawl hit the mark. Bagan indeed started the match on a very strong note with Suhair Vadakkepeedika and Nongdamba Naorem showing both pace and purpose. But the Mizo side slowly grew into the contest and they were the better side in the second half. That's all from Aizawl. But don't forget to follow our live commentary of Gokulam Kerala vs NEROCA FC clash, day 1's second match. Live coverage starts in a while.
Catch highlights of the match here:
Full-Time - Aizawl FC 0-0 Mohun Bagan
90+3' - A final change, and a few interchanges, then the final whistle.
90+2' - A long throw-in from Lalramchullova and Lalremruata on the ball first. Then, a tussle involving Julen Colinas. Free kick to Bagan, on the left of the box. Meanwhile, the man of the match is Lalremruata.
90' - Change for Aizawl. Jonathan Lalrawngbawla on for Lal Hmangaihkima, and three minutes added on.
89' - Bagan finally having their moment. A very opportunity but their failure to keep the play simple costed the move. On the counter, concede a throw. But Aizawl's throw in goes straight to Debjit Majumder.
86' - SK Faiaz trying to beat Aizawl defenders on the right flank but is forced to retreat, then SK Sahil plays a loose pass. Throw in for Aizawl, then for Bagan.
84' - Debjit Majumder in the thick of the action to cut short a long ball from Aizawl. After a brief stoppage, Bagan launch an attack from the left flank, and Julen Colinas produces a left-footed drive. Misses the target.
82' - Julen Colinas and Joseba Beitia on a brilliant link up. Colinas then releases a through ball for Beitia but the linesman flags it.
80' - All of a sudden, Julen Colinas forces an Aizawl defender to kick out the ball for a corner. Hard pressing from the Bagan player.
79' - Mizo lad Lalramchullova, turning up for Bagan, win the ball. Bagan then win a free-kick. Joseba Beitia's delivery from the centre fails to reach the intended target. And Aizawl win their own free-kick near the far flag.
76' - Alfred Kemah Jaryan draws a foul inside the attacking third, then a corner near the near flag. But Aizawl lose possession, and Suhair Vadakkepeedika is down. William Lalnunfela is booked for bringing down Suhair. Free kick to Bagan.
74' - Aizawl win a free-kick from the following play. And keep the ball in possession on the left. A goal-kick as Gurjinder Kumar wins a duel near the far flag.
72' - Cool work from Rochharzela to set a move. Cuts inside from the left but Julen Colinas blocks the final pass. Corner for Aizawl.
70' - Nasty challenge on Isak Vanlalruatfela by Gurjinder Kumar near the centre line. Late on the ball, and dragging his foot to stop the Aizawl player. Booked.
68' - Wonderful cross from the left flank for Bagan, but a good defensive header. Moments ago, SK Faiaz has replaced injured Nongdamba Naorem.
67' - Francisco Gonzalez keeps his eyes to the last moment and manages to get the tip of his stretching boot to block/deflect a Joe Zoherliana cross before Debjit Majumder coming to the rescue.
65' - After a brief foray inside the Aizawl box, Bagan lose possession. Joe Zoherliana bids to make a move, but Bagan win the ball back. Then, Nongdamba Naorem involves goalkeeper in the play. And the Manipuri youngster is on the ground. Hamstring? And his is carried off. Bagan on a situation here. They have already utilised two subs. And now Nongdamba is on the sidelines.
63' - Joe Zoherliana produces a blistering on the right flank, but loses control. Goal-kick to Bagan.
61' - It's a double change for Bagan. Britto is off too. SK Sahil is on.
60' - At the hour-mark, Britto wins the ball back and launches an attack. But Alfred Kemah Jaryan is rock solid for Aizawl. And a change for the visitors. Francisco Morante Martinez is off, Salvador Perez Martinez on.
59' - Aizawl keeping possession. And happily rolling the ball around, looking for an opening.
57' - Nongdamba Naorem links up with Joseba Beitia, the later wins a free-kick near the box. Beitia's delivery gets cleared away and Aizawl on the counter. Debjit Majumder leaves his line and cut short the Aizawl move. But the linesman adjudges it off-side. Very tight call, nonetheless.
55' - Francisco Morante to the rescue for Bagan. A dangerous cross from the left and the Morante leaps high to clear the danger away. On the counter, Bagan win a corner.
53' - A square pass finds Joe Zoherliana, then a through ball. Debjit Majumder beats the onrushing Aizawl player to the ball.
51' - Francisco Javier Gonzalez pulls down Paul Ramfangzauva. Free kick for Aizawl just outside the D. No card though. Nothing comes off the set-piece.
50' - Lalremruata's long goal kick is cut out by Francisco Morante and throw in for Bagan from a deflection. Gurjinder Kumar's throw-in to launch a Bagan attack. Britto sends in a very good cross but Julen Colinas fails to read the flight. Then, goal-kick for the hosts.
48' - Against the run of play, Bagan get a chance to test the Mizo defence. Some desperate defending from the hosts.
47' - And another promising move from the hosts with Rochharzela breaching the defence from the left flank. But his final attempt could only hit the side netting.
46' - Promising start from Aizawl. Isak Vanlalruatfela goes for the goal but easy take for Debjit Majumder.
3:05 PM IST: Players are back for the second-half action.
3:03 PM IST: Meanwhile, Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas has picked Cristiano Ronaldo to beat Lionel Messi in the Ballon D'Or fight. But Messi is tipped to win the award for a record sixth time in Paris on Monday.
3:00 PM IST: It's goalless first-half at Aizawl. Bagan started strongly but allowed the hosts to make a couple of very good attempts courtesy deplorable defending. And thanks to Debjit Majumder, and his bravery the scoreline is still 0-0. The same can be about Aizawl goalie, who denied visiting attackers early in the match.
1st-Half - Aizawl FC 0-0 Mohun Bagan
45+2' - Play resumes. Aizawl on the ball and Rochharzela wins a free kick for Aizawl. A disappointing move from the hosts and referee Om Prakash Thakur calls it half-time.
44' - Clumsy challenge on Lalramhmunmawia from Julen Colinas Olaizola. Free kick, and what a chance for the hosts. William Lalnunfela, one on one with Debjit Majumder, fails to find the target. And Debjit Majumder and William Lalnunfela on another one on one. Bagan goalie in the ground. He just saved the team. Lengthy medical attention. The former ATK goalkeeper is having trouble getting up. Two minutes added on.
41' - Britto's delivery from the far corner fails to impress, and Aizawl on the attack again.
39' - Alfred Kemah Jaryan, one of the only two foreigners in the Aizawl starting XI, sends in a teasing cross. But nothing from it. Bagan, on the counter, win a corner.
35' - Gurjinder Kumar with the throw-in for Bagan. Then another throw-in. Bagan continue to enjoy the majority of the possession.
33' - An ambitious run on the left flank from Isak Vanlalruatfela, then wastes the move with a poor cross. There are at least two players inside the Bagan box.
32' - Aizawl are slowly gaining a foothold in the match. After a midfield duel, Ugandan Kassaga beats Bagan attacker, and throw in for the visitors.
30' - Bagan coach Standly Rozario is having a close look at the proceedings. A goal kick for Aizawl. Daniel Nicholas Cyrus wins a header and another move for the visitors. Then, Kassaga disturbs the flow to the applause of fans.
28' - Debajit Majumdar takes no chance and palms away the cross. Corner for Aizawl.
27' - A long ball from Gonzalez Munoz for Nongdamba Naorem, then a link up with Britto. But Aizawl defend well.
25' - What a counter from the hosts. Result, their first chance for Aizawl, and on target but straight to the goalie.
24' - Poor play from the back for Aizawl with Richard Kassaga producing a bad pass. Nongdamba Naorem intercepts and another Bagan move. Throw in for the visitors.
22' - Joseba Beitia corner and Francisco Morante pushes Aizawl goalie. Foul. Free-kick to Aizawl.
21' - Joseba Beitia tries to send in a corner but deflected. Corner for Bagan. And they continue to press hard. Gonzalez Munoz gets the ball from a rebound, and he only needed to hit the target. Another corner.
19' - Bagan defender Francisco Morante gets the first booking for a tactical foul. Free kick to Aizawl.
18' - Nongdamba Naorem win a corner. His attempt gets deflected. A looping delivery from the far corner and a glancing header from a Bagan player. Misses the target.
16' - Throw-in for Bagan inside the attacking final third. Julen Colinas's throw in wasted. Aizawl opt to start from the back, and soon lose the possession. Brito sends a cross from the right flank, and header. But brilliant save once again. It turns out to be an off-side.
13' - Crafty play from Britto and with Julen Colinas, Bagan have another move inside the final third. Gonzalez Munoz goes for the goal from a distance, and it misses the target.
11' - Tidy defending work from Lalrosanga to intercept the through ball. Throw in for the hosts, then Bagan win their own with local lad Lalramchullova on the ball.
9' - Lalramchullova commits a foul and free-kick to Aizawl inside the Bagan half. The ball goes out of the play. A throw-in and the hosts are having a spell.
8' - What a play from youngster Nongdamba Naorem to find Suhair Vadakkepeedika on the run. But a great save from Lalremruata to deny the chance.
6' - Corner for the visitors. But nothing comes from it. From the following play, Joseba Beitia draws a foul inside the Aizawl half with Alfred Kemah Jaryan rushing onto the Bagan midfielder. Free kick to Bagan.
4' - Brilliant start to the match from Mohun Bagan. Suhair Vadakkepeedika releases a very good through ball for Gonzalez Munoz, but the Brazilian misses the near post by a whisker.
1' - Mohun Bagan start the proceedings with Suhair Vadakkepeedika on the ball.
2:01 PM IST: Prem-match rituals are done.
1:56 PM IST: Those who have been waiting for the live streaming to start, can watch now. It's on, with a heavy dose of a rift. That's Mizoram for you. Kick-off next.
1:49 PM IST: And glimpses of players arriving at the venue.
Both teams have arrived ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ#AFCMB âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ #HeroILeague ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ #LeagueForAll ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¤ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ #IndianFootball âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ½ pic.twitter.com/Ohz62e0ajC— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) November 30, 2019
1:45 PM IST: Later in the day, Gokulam Kerala will play host to NEROCA. The match starts at 7:00 PM IST. It will be a cracker considering their good transfers. Read preview HERE.
1:40 PM IST: Meanwhile, check out five foreign players who are likely to make a huge impact. And one of them, Joseba Beitia, an academy product of Real Sociedad, starts today.
1:34 PM IST: Earlier in the day, two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC said goodbye to head coach John Gregory.
1:27 PM IST: Subs
Aizawl FC: Lal Chungnunga (6), Techi Tatra (15), Ayush Dev Chhetri (16), Jonathan Lalrawngbawla (17), Melory Laldinsanga (25), Lal Biakzuala (28), Lalawmpuia (44)
Mohun Bagan: Ashutosh Mehta (6), Salvador Perez Martinez (9), Alexander Romario Jesuraj (11), Shilton Paul (22), Dhanachandra Leihaorungbam (25), SK Sahil (27), SK Faiaz (47)
1:21 PM IST: Head-to-head record
It's advantage @NerocaFC, as they travel to @GokulamKeralaFC for the 2âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£nd #HeroILeague ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ match of the day ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ#GKFCNFC ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¥ #LeagueForAll ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¤ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ #IndianFootball âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ½ pic.twitter.com/sleNtZuL40— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) November 30, 2019
1:15 PM IST: Here are the starting XIs
Aizawl FC: Lalremruata, Juuko Richard Kassaga (5), Rochharzela (7), Paul Ramfangzauva (8), Isak Vanlalruatfela (11), Joe Zoherliana (14), Alfred Kemah Jaryan (20), Alfred Kemah Jaryan (21), C.Lalrosanga (24), Lalramhmunmawia (39), William Lalnunfela (49)
Head coach: Standly Rozario Henry
Mohun Bagan: Francisco Morante Martinez, Gurjinder Kumar (5), Joseba Beitia Aguirregomezcorta (10), Lalramchullova (15), Nongdamba Naorem (16), Julen Colinas Olaizola (17), Suhair Vadakkepeedika (20), Debjit Majumder (24), Britto P M (33), Daniel Nicholas Cyrus (45), Francisco Javier Gonzalez Munoz (50)
Head coach: Kibu Vicuna
12:59 PM IST: And a brief background on how the league has been reduced to the second-tier:
"The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and some of the clubs were locked in a bitter face-off on which out of Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League will the top-tier competition in the country.
After a lot of acrimony, the issue was finally settled with the help of the Asian Football Confederation, with the Indian Super League (ISL) being made the top-tier league with a slot in the AFC Champions League play-off, while I-League champions would compete in the second-tier AFC Cup.
As a concession to the clubs, starting with the 2022-23 season, the winner of I-League will stand a chance to be promoted to ISL. From the 2024-25 season onwards, performance-based promotion and relegation to and from ISL will be implemented.
A total of 110 games are scheduled to be played in over five-month long league in the home-and-away basis among the 11 participating clubs. The AIFF has said that all the 110 matches will be telecast live on DSPORT," reports PTI.
12:55 PM IST: The 13th edition of the I-League kicks off on Saturday. Day 1 will feature four teams that represent the legacy, promise and potential of Indian football. Read our season primer here: Let's Football, I-League Style
Led by Stanley Rozario, Aizawl FC will be hoping to build some momentum to the new season. The club has managed to retain its core players for the new season, with Liberian Alfred Jaryan still in the team. Also, Ugandan Richard Kasagga adds physicality to the side, with midfielders David Isac, William Lalnunfella adding versatility.
During the pre-match press conference, Rozario stated that his side will be aiming for a win. He also praised Mohun Bagan, feeling that they could pose a serious threat. "This match against Mohun Bagan means a lot to my young Mizoram players and it is going to be a tough task at hand. Mohun Bagan have full strength with six foreign players and we have only two foreigners with a lot of young players promoted from our academy. It is going to be a big challenge to play against strong Mohun Bagan," he said.
"I want my players to believe in themselves and go with a positive mindset and try to get something out of it because everything is possible in football. A good and positive start will give us confidence going ahead," he further added.
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan have a new head coach in the guise of Kibu Vicuna. His tactics are of the Spanish philosophy and proved to be successful in the preseason. New foreign faces like Daniel Cyris, Joseba Beitia and Fran Morante adds that extra flair to the Kolkata outfit.
During the pre-match press conference, Vicuna revealed that his side is prepared for the domestic season. "We are working together for almost five months. We have prepared the team to be 100% ready to play first game. We respect Aizawl because we know they are a good team and it’s going to be a tough match but we want to start well the competition and come back to Kolkata with three points," he said.