Despite winning the Mizoram Premier League, Raikhan’s Aizawl FC failed to deliver in the I-League this season.
After Shankarlal Chakraborty, another coach bids adieu to his club as Aizawl FC head coach Gift Raikhan has submitted his resignation to The People’s Club on Sunday evening. Raikhan resigned after his side suffered a disappointing 0-1 home loss against the Indian Arrows on Saturday.
Aizawl finished sixth in the I-League last season under Santosh Kashyap after Portuguese manager Paulo Menezes parted ways with the club halfway through the campaign. After Kashyap, they brought in Raikhan at the beginning of this term, as the coach who had an excellent season with NEROCA FC, taking them to the second position in their debut top flight season.
Though Aizawl didn’t have a fruitful start to the 2018-19 I-League campaign, they started their Mizoram Premier League run pretty well and were able to finish second after the end of league stage. In the I-League, Raikhan’s team tasted their first victory after three losses and two draws, as they took down East Bengal at home.
Raikhan brought his atacking approach to Aizawl, but wasn’t quite finding the results as both his forwards, Ansumana Kromah and Leonce Dodoz were wasteful in front of goal, despite having plenty of chances.
To add to his worries, the tight MPL schedule made his team play three games in five days twice during this period, which had a great impact in the team’s run in the I-League. Aizawl lifted the MPL on 17th of December, defeating Chhinga Veng FC in a penalty shooutout after the game ended 1-1 at the end of regulation time.
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With the MPL over, Raikhan’s team produced a great game against Gokulam Kerala as Aizawl defeated them 3-2 at home, but questions yet again arose when they lost to Indian Arrows on Saturday. Raikhan took full responsibility of the loss and the club’s poor run in the I-League as he decided to part ways with The People’s Club.
In his resignation letter to the club, Raikhan said, “With much pain in my heart regarding the result of yesterday’s match I m duly requesting and also have decided to withdraw myself from my job for the betterment of the results with the remaining matches in hand.”
Aizawl FC are currently in 10th place with just nine points from 11 matches, with only two wins. Though it’s uncertain who will replace Raikhan at the club, it will be a huge task ahead for them to finish in the top half of the table with only nine matches left to play this season.