Winning a league is a marathon not a sprint. The exemplary journey of Aizawl FC to I-League glory required patience, perseverance and consistency from the team management and the players. Not only did they create history by winning the league, they generated a kind of interest the game has not seen in this country much. In this piece we discuss about the top three players who contributed to the Mizoram outfit in achieving the unbelievable.
3. ZOHMINGLIANA RALTE
The central defender played a vital role in the defensive line of the Reds which conceded just 15 goals in India's top tier, second best to Mohun Bagan, who shipped 14 in the 2017 edition of the league. The 27-year-old was consistent in his performance and was a commanding presence at the back, alongside Eze Kingsley.
With 62% successful defensive challenge rate and 64% aerial challenge success rate, Zotea was inarguably the best defender on the field for the I-League champions. Apart from his top notch protective performances, the Mizoram born player also netted the all-important winning goal for Khalid Jamil's army against the Mariners which was their biggest step in inching towards the championship victory.
2. ALFRED JARYAN
The Liberian midfielder was the unsung hero of the side from North East India. A mighty passing rate of 80% defined Jaryan's contribution in Aizawl FC's build-up in the middle of the park. Dominating the midfield with his immaculate tackling and physical presence, the 28-year-old led his side into the annals of Indian football exemplarily.
He was the rock over which Khalid Jamil built his side's flashy players. Jaryan's partnership with Mahmoud Al Amna in the middle of the park was one the major factors behind the team's unprecedented success this year. Owing to his commendable exhibition of football, it is safe to term Jaryan as the midfield maestro of The People's Club.
1. MAHMOUD AL AMNA
The Syrian playmaker was the leader of Aizawl FC's attack which more often than not, troubled the opposition's defenders. Creative and productive in his display, Al Amna possessed a laudable 78% passing record.
Well-timed interceptions, clean dribbling, noteworthy aerial challenges and good distribution of the ball were some of the 34-year-old's USPs. With two goals to his name and the credit for the creativity in the midfield, Mahmoud Al Amna tops our choice for the best player of the season for the champions of India.