Aizawl's fairytale was complete on the final day of the season when 21-year old William Lalnunfela score arguably the most important goal in their history. However, there were many other games over the season where Aizawl had a narrow escape, refusing to give up and coming up on top through sheer resolve. Let's recollect the most crucial of them all.
DSK Shivajians (Home) - 1-0, February 1, 2017
Breezing through the first two weeks of the season unbeaten - with 3 wins and a draw - Aizawl came crashing down in Chennai where they were beaten 2-0 by the league's newcomers. A long trip back home saw them meet DSK Shivajians - who had just held mighty Mohun Bagan to a 0-0 draw at home.
Aizawl dominated DSK throughout the game, but were unable to break the deadlock. The moment of inspiration came in the 89th minute, when Jayesh Rane's ball into the box was nicely set up for 23-year-old Brandon Vanlalremdika to smash home the winner from close range.
East Bengal (Home) - 1-0, February 20, 2017
Perhaps the most significant win, if not the most important, came against East Bengal - unbeaten and top of the league at that time. Aizawl kept East Bengal on their toes and were rewarded with the opener through winger Laldanmawia Ralte in the 58th minute. Jayesh Rane again made a vital contribution with a dangerous ball into the box which Laldanmawia chipped over T.P Rehenesh to get all three points. The match strengthened the fact that Aizawl were no pushovers, and put a dent in East Bengal's title hopes - one they could never really recover from.
DSK Shivajians (Away) - 1-0, March 7, 2017
Another late goal, another Laldanmawia strike. This win not only gave them four wins on the trot, but Aizawl upstaged East Bengal at the top of the table. The home-grown 24-year old Mizo winger met second-half substitute Lalmuan Kima's cross and calmly finished past Subrata Paul in the 85th minute. Top of the league with five games to go - 4 away and 1 at home to Mohun Bagan.
Mohun Bagan (Home) - 1-0, April 22, 2017
Dubbed as the 'title-decider', the most crucial game of the I-League stood true to its billing. End-to-end, fast and fiery. The scenarios were such: Aizawl needed two goals to win the league and Bagan needed to just win, by any margin. The stadium was full to the brim as Aizawl crashed a sluggish Bagan's party with a goal in the 83rd minute. Mahmoud Al-Amna's inch-perfect corner was headed in at the far post by center-back Zotea Ralte and the whole of Aizawl bounced to the sound of the final whistle. Aizawl had taken the title-race to the final day, where a draw was enough to crown them champions.
Shillong Lajong (Away) - 1-1, April 30, 2017
The final day of the season. Aizawl needed a draw; Bagan, playing against Chennai City at home had to win and expect Aizawl to lose. Shillong drew first blood and Aizawl looked shaky as the half ended 1-0. On the other end, Chennai were leading Bagan 1-0. The title, still with Aizawl. 65 minutes gone, Bagan equalized, while Aizawl were nervously searching for one of their own. That goal came in the 67th when William Lalnunfela nodded in from close range, sparking wild celebrations from the Aizawl dug-out. Shillong almost scored, twice, in the dying minutes of the game, but the footballing gods were with their north-east rivals as Aizawl held on to write a glorious chapter in Indian football.