Shillong Lajong FC will begin their New Year I-League campaign at home against Chennai City FC on 5th January at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Shillong at 5:30 PM.
Lajong are hoping to start the year 2018 on a positive note as their last two outings at the end of 2017 were disappointing. They lost to Neroca FC at home and Indian Arrows away in Delhi by 1-0 and 3-0 respectively.
Shillong Lajong has played 7 matches in total and is currently in the 6th position with 10 points.
The last time Shillong Lajong and Chennai City met in Shillong was on 31st January in 2017 and Lajong won this game with a convincing 2-0 margin. Lajong will look to maintain their home winning record against Chennai City and for the same, they will be depending heavily on the services of their young skipper, Samuel Lalmuanpuia who has netted two goals and local lad, Redeem Tlang who has also found the net twice so far. The Reds will be hoping their foreign strikers; Aiman Al Hagri and Abdolaye Koffi also find the scoring touch in the coming matches.
Shillong Lajong Coach Bobby Nongbet said, “We are looking forward for three points desperately in this game against Chennai City who has been doing very well in the last few games especially after beating Mohun Bagan.”
“We understand that the game is not going to be easy but we know that we have to work very hard to gain those three points. We are determined and the team would be different altogether and much stronger in 2018.”
Chennai City has played seven matches so far and is in the 8th position with 7 points in the I-League standings.
They lost their first match of the I-League against the Indian Arrows by three goals to nil, drew 1-1 against Gokulam Kerala, lost their third and fourth game to Minerva Punjab and Neroca FC with the same score line, 2-1. The Chennai outfit then grabbed their first victory of the season against Churchill Brothers in Goa by two goals to nil, faced another defeat in their following game at the hands of East Bengal FC, the score line was 2-1.
They created a huge upset in Kolkata on 2nd January 2018, when beat Mohun Bagan by 2-1. Jean-Michael Joachim and Veniamin Shumeiko provided the goals for Chennai last night.
The Southerners will be relying on Jean Michael Joachim who has been in superb form netting five goals so far from 7 games.
In the pre-match press conference that was held today, Soundararajan said, “I was really happy with the performance of the players in our last match against Mohun Bagan. After beating Mohun Bagan we don’t want to lose a match now.”
“We are ready to take up the challenge even though we are a little bit tired and also because of the climate condition here in Shillong. Mohun Bagan is a great club and after beating them we are having more confidence now.”
All roads will lead to the JN Stadium on Friday and the home team will settle for nothing less than a victory. The Club are looking forward to seeing thousands of Lajong Fans throng to the stadium to support Lajong in what will be a crucial match against Chennai City FC. The match will kick off at 5:30 PM on Friday. The tickets will be available at The Mobile Centre Police Bazaar, Sports Spirit MUDA Complex Police Bazaar and SSA Stadium Ticket Counter in Polo Ground.
(Shillong Lajong FC)