The Mariners lifted their second I-League trophy after a hard fought win against the former champions…
Papa Diawara scored the solitary goal of the match late in the second half to clinch the championship.
Kibu Vicuna made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 against Chennai City in the previous game. Komron Tursunov returned after serving a one-match suspension, Dhanachandra Singh was reinstated in the left-back position in place of Gurjinder Kumar and Daniel Cyrus replaced a suspended Cyrus Morante.
His opposite number Stanly Rozario made a single alteration as M Malsawmzuala replaced Justice Morgan.
It was a cagey first half with both sides struggling to create goal-scoring opportunities. Mohun Bagan had no shots on target in the opening 45 minutes which reveal their ineffectiveness in the attacking third.
In fact, the hosts were being dominated by Aizawl at the centre of the park courtesy of Alfred Jaryan. Interestingly, Joseba Beitia was operating from a deeper position which further complicated matters for Bagan.
Just before the break, Bagan churned out a half-chance from a free-kick floated in Beitia. Aizawl’s defense failed to clear which allowed Papa Diawara to set up Tursunov but the Tajik forward ballooned his shot over the crossbar.
Bagan showed more urgency in the second half and started raiding Aizawl’s fort with more intent and purpose.
In the 73rd minute, the Mariners got a sight of goal when Suhair sent in a cross from the right flank but Diawara fluffed his header.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 80th minute with Diawara scoring the 10th of the campaign. A brilliant give and go between Nongdamba Naorem and Beitia split opened Aizawl’s defence. The Spaniard then released the former Sevilla striker who rifled a grounded shot into the net.
Bagan could have doubled their advantage but Tursunov was denied by the post.