New Delhi, March 12: Last year's I League winner Aizawl FC announced their 26-man squad for the Asian competition, AFC Cup. The Highlanders, last year, shocked everyone with their triumphant performance as Khalid Jamil's men outnumbered heavyweights like East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC to clinch their first-ever national league title.
Winning the tournament gave them an opportunity to appear in the AFC Champions League playoffs round. However, Santosh Singh Kashyap's men stammered in the West zone playoff round and lost 3-1 against Zob Ahan FC of Iran which now have put them directly into Group E of the AFC Cup.
Aizawl have not had a great season like last year after they lost their manager Jamil and star players like Al Amna, Laldanmawia Ralte to other clubs. However, with new manager Kashyap, the team from Mizoram fought their best with the ammunition left and finished fifth in the league this term.
Aizawl have been grouped with Maldivian football club New Radiant S.C., Abahani Dhaka from Bangladesh and the Indian powerhouse Bengaluru FC in the group stage of the AFC Cup.
The team from North-east will begin their Asian campaign on March 14 with the match against New Radiant S.C. and will play Bengaluru on an Asian stage on April 5th.
And now Kashyap and his men will surely be looking to put the past backwards and focus on the job at hand to qualify from the AFC Cup group stage.
Goalkeepers: 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.