Santosh Trophy 2013/14 season champions Mizoram are on their way to confirm a place in the semi-final this year. They registered back to back wins over Goa and Odisha and are currently at the top of Group B.
They started off their campaign with a convincing 3-1 win over the traditional powerhouse of Indian football, Goa. The North Easter state came back from behind to register a thumping victory.
Their second win came against Minnows Odisha yesterday at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium. The Mizo routed a hapless Odisha 5-0.
The main man behind Mizoram’s success this season has been a 21-year-old attacking midfielder named Lalromawia. The youngster has already found the back of net four times and has been a real livewire in the Mizo midfield.
Coach Lalsangzuala Hmar has been shaping his side in an attacking 4-3-3 formation and Romawia, who plays the number 10 role, was often seen helping the front three in the opponent’s penalty box.
The enthusiastic youngster has been scoring goals for his side, creating goal scoring opportunities for his teammates and has become a real threat to the opposition.
Hailing from a small village named Samlukhai in Mizoram, the talented young footballer comes from a very humble background. His father is a farmer by profession. He has two other siblings who help their father in farming.
Speaking after yet another brilliant show against Odisha, the shy young lad said, “I come from Samlukhai in Mizoram. My father is a farmer. I have two brothers who help my father in farming. I am the youngest of the three. I always wanted to be a footballer. I have studied till 12th standard and started playing football.”
Romawia is the youngest sibling and also the only one in the family who took up football as his profession.
He made his professional debut in the 2017/18 season for Mizoram Premier League (MPL) side Chanmari West FC. His club finished seventh among eight clubs this season. Lalromawia had netted twice in the MPL this year.
The player’s ability to move swiftly in the middle of the pitch with the ball and his goal-scoring prowess is what attracted the Mizoram’s coach. During their match against Odisha, the team was often seen changing the shape. From 4-3-3, they went 4-2-4 with Romawia moving up and partnering number nine F. Lalrinpuia upfront.
Mizoram’s success in Indian football has been nothing short of a fairytale in recent years. It began with the state side’s triumph in the Santosh Trophy in 2013/14 and got bigger with Aizawl FC winning the I-League in 2016/17 season.
Their recent success stories have brought several talented Mizo players into mainstream Indian football.
Only time will tell if the youngster from a small village of Samlukhai will make it big in Indian football but he is yet another gem from the region.