I-League defending champions Aizawl FC struggle in Mizoram Premier League

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The club had seen a mass exodus of star players this summer and have not been able to find the perfect balance so far.

Defending I-League champions Aizawl FC's stuttering start in the Mizoram Premier Legaue (MPL) continued as they played out their second consecutive draw against Chanmari FC on Friday evening. 

The Reds, who have seen most first-team players of their fairytale league victory leave the club for pastures anew, have not settled down yet under their new Portuguese coach Paulo Menezes.

Aizawl had the first chance of the match when Lalthathanga went close to scoring but it was their opponents who broke the deadlock in the 26th minute. A free-kick from Rosanga was met inside the box by Lalmuanzuala, who placed the ball past a hapless Avilash Paul.

Paul was in the thick of things a few minutes later when he struggled to make a routine gathering, but defender Lalhriatrenga made a vital clearance to stop the opponents from doubling their lead.

Former club captain David Lalrinmuana pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, hitting the net for the first time in club colours post his forgettable stint at East Bengal.

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Chanmari, who had won the competition last year, created a few more chances in the second half courtesy winger Lalmuanzova, who was also adjudged the man of the match. 

With only two points from as many matches, Aizawl FC will have to pull their socks now to challenge for the championship, while Chanmari now have four points. The Reds will be facing Mizoram Police in their next fixture.

Aizawl FC starting XI: Avilash; Rinzuala, Kareem, Rozama, Achia; Alfred Jaryan, David Lalrinmuana, Shylo Malsawltluanga, Puitea, Chhara; Jojo.

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