The Reds will play host to cross town rivals and debutants Rangdajied United FC in the first-ever I-League Shillong Derby tomorrow at 6:00pm at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong.
The match will see the two teams square off in what will be a historical day for the Meghalaya capital. Lajong FC coach Thangboi Singto said in a pre-match press conference today that the game will be „a big day for North-East football“. Thangboi added, „I-League is a tough league to play in and many players from the North-East are playing in the league and it is a good thing for Indian football to see North-East teams represent the region.“ Commenting on the magnitude of the game Singto said, „football will be the winner tomorrow but we will look for a win.“
Shillong Lajong FC will be missing key players as Jibon Singh is facing a two match ban after receiving a red card in the last game against Mohun Bagan and defender Wailadmi Passah is out after collecting 4 yellow cards so far this season.
Lajong FC will be looking to ride on Cornell Glen and Uilliam’s good run of form where both have consistently delivered upfront forming a formidable strike partnership. Glen has scored six goals in seven games and Uilliams has been finding the net as well scoring three in the last two games. More positives could be taken from the previous game wherein an impressive all round performance from Subash Singh and resilient defending from Lajong captain, Minchol Son will add to their strengths tomorrow.
Rangdajied United FC on the other hand have not been on a good run with just three points and struggling at the bottom of the table. But the I-League newcomers recently made big changes to their squad following their poor form, signing five IMG-Reliance contracted players and defying the rules laid down by the I-League Professional Football Clubs Association (IPFCA).
Speaking on the issue Rangdajied coach Santosh Kashyap said, „It was a management call.“ Even with the signings the team will be without the services of Edmar and Sandesh Jhingan but former Lajong midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh will be back in the team after missing matches due to injury.
At the press conference Eugeneson said, „It will be emotional for me and I am very grateful to them (Shillong Lajong). I have full respect for Lajong but I will be playing for a win for my club.“
The Reds are looking to extend their unbeaten run to six games and a win tomorrow will assure them second place in the I-League table. Rangdajied United FC will look to get out of the relegation zone with their new look squad, looking for their first-ever I-League win tomorrow. The match is expected to be a thrilling encounter with both teams fighting for bragging rights as the best team in Shillong.
The match will kick-off at 18.00 IST and will be shown live on TenAction.