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I-League: Aizawl aim to end on winning note

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Aizawl, March 1: Defending champions Aizawl FC will host in-form Gokulam Kerala FC in their final match of the ongoing I-League season here on Friday.

Aizawl have found it hard to replicate last season's title-winning form and are currently stranded sixth in the table with 21 points from 17 games. 

After a disappointing start in the I-League, Gokulam have bounced back in style, winning their last three matches against the title contenders Minerva Punjab FC, Kingfisher East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.

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If their coach Bino George can conjure up a win against Aizawl FC, they will leapfrog the current champions in the table, sealing an automatic berth to the Super Cup. 

George was in high spirits at the pre-match press conference. 

"When they play in the home ground they will have an extra boost. We will play our best game to get a point. We have confidence. My boys are playing excellent football and they are not scared of any team now. They will work hard, they will perform to their utmost best tomorrow," George said.

"Inexperience was costing us matches at the start of the season. Only one or two players had played in the I-League before. After the addition of new foreigners, we have steadied the ship," he added. 

Aizawl coach Santosh Kashyap said his boys will play to get the full three points and bring smiles back to their fans' faces.

"We are very confident. We have trained according to our plan. We hope to take full advantage of the home match and get the three points," he said.

"We have no pressure. Usually, we don't have time to recover as our away matches are tightly scheduled. Travelling is tiresome and the performance of the players dropped as well. Direct entry into the Super Cup is what we aimed for.

"We can beat any team on a given day, as we have seen lots of unpredictable results in the league. Every game is tough. We have to take advantage of the home game. Our fan base is strong here in Aizawl and I hope they will come to support us in our last home game of the season," he added.

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