AFC Cup 2018: Aizawl FC announce 26-man squad for group stage
The 2017 I-League champions begin their AFC Cup quest on March 14 against New Radiant.
Ahead of their opening AFC Cup fixture against New Radiant from the Maldives, Aizawl FC have, on Sunday, declared their 26-man squad for the Asian competition. This is the first time in the competition for the side from Mizoram and coach Santosh Singh Kashyap will be looking to lead his troops into the knockout stages.
Apart from New Radiant, Aizawl FC are paired with Abahani Dhaka from Bangladesh and the ISL trendsetters - Bengaluru FC. It is going to be an interesting battle to see two Indian teams fighting it out on a much larger platform, hoping to go as far as possible. April 5 is set to be the first time when Aizawl FC lock horns with the Blues of Bengaluru on an Asian stage.
Aizawl FC recently ended their league season in the fifth position, earning just 24 points from 18 matches. This was a weak defence of their league title which they had managed so brilliantly last April. But Kashyap and his boys will be looking to put the past behind and concentrate on the task at hand which is the AFC Cup group stage.
After winning the I-League last time around, Aizawl FC were in the AFC Champions League playoffs round. But the team from Mizoram faltered in the West zone playoff round against Zob Ahan FC of Iran. The side from Iran beat the Indian champions 3-1 on the night. That defeat put Aizawl FC directly into Group E of the AFC Cup which begins on March 14 for Aizawl.
The 26 man squad announced for the Asian competition has no real surprises in it barring the exclusion of Lalchawnkima and H. Lalmuankima. The mentioned duo wasn't registered in time for the competition and will hence give the AFC Cup a miss. On that note, here's the complete Aizawl FC squad that will be seen in the competition:
Goalkeeper: H. Lalremruata, Lalawmpuia, Avilash Paul and Arup Debnath
Defenders: Masih Saighani, Lalrozama Fanai, Lalchhuanawma Varte, R. Laldinliana, Lalhriatrenga, C. Lalrosanga, Hmingthanmawia and Lalramhmumawia
Midfielders: David Lalrinmuana, Liandala Fanai, Alfred Jaryan, Andrei Ionescu, K. Lalthathanga, Albert Zohmingmawia, Syhlo Malsawmtluanga and Rochharzela
Forwards: Lalkhawpuimawia, Zikahi Dodoz, Jonathan Lalrawngbawla, Lalruatfela Zote, F. Lalremsanga and William Lalnunfela