THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Sporting Clube edges out Shillong Lajong by a solitary goal

I-League: Shillong Lajong FC v Sporting Clube de Goa

In what was an edge-of-the-seat thriller at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, hosts Shillong Lajong FC were edged out by Sporting Clube de Goa by a solitary goal in the 3rd Round of the Airtel I-League. The Flaming Oranje were able to maintain their unbeaten streak against the Reds courtesy a Kalou Ogba header, which was scored in the of the first half off a well taken corner.

The match started on a slow yet calculated pace,as both teams were willing to play the waiting game. As the game progressed though, it was the visiting side who started to dominated the play more and looked threatening on the counter attacks. Meanwhile,Taisuke Matsugae was substituted by Subhash Singh in the 36th minute. It was in the 40th minute, when Shillong Lajong conceded a corner and Kalou rose high to head in a perfectly placed header, beyond the reach of Vinay Singh. On the back foot, the Reds then pushed forward for the equaliser even as the first half drew to a close with a Boithang Hoakip free kick, which saw the ball kiss the woodwork and out of play.

The second half was a well fought affair with both teams playing more offensively. Egged on by their “Lajong Faithfuls”, Shillong Lajong displayed some beautiful football, but could not find the decisive goal. Thangboi Singto then brought on Tuboi who replaced Cornell Glen in search of the equaliser in the 66th minute of the match. The Manipuri almost made a telling contribution, but his shot went wide of goal, much to the chagrin of the spectators. Lajong came agonising close yet again, when Subhash nearly scored off a swift counter.

The dying minutes of the match was a see-saw battle to keep the ball, even as the referee signalled four minutes of added time for Lajong to save the game. That was not enough however, as Sporting saw out the rest of the match, to win the close encounter by one goal.