The Shillong Derby is back as the second leg will be hosted by Rangdajied United FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong on Monday at 15.00 IST. The I-League encounter promises to be a tight contest as Rangdajied United will be hoping to avoid relegation as a point at minimum will be enough to prevent them from sitting in the relegation zone.
Unlike Shillong Lajong FC, this will also be the final game of the season for Rangdajied United and hence they are expected to go all out against their local rivals. Lajong meanwhile who are currently placed fifth in the table, will be looking to cement a top five finish this season as a top seven finish is already secured for the Reds.
When the two sides previously met in the first ever Shillong Derby last November, the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Yohei Iwasaki had given Rangdajied the lead but Boithang Haokip came to the rescue for the Reds with an equaliser.
In the last I-League match, Shillong Lajong FC registered a sensational 5-4 win over bottom placed Mohammedan Sporting Club. Trinidad & Tobago international Cornell Glen bagged his first ever hat trick in the league while Subash Singh scored a brace which helped the Reds climb to the fifth position in the I-League standings. But it was a different affair for Rangdajied United when they visited Kolkata as they went down 2-1 to Mohammedan Sporting.
Shillong Lajong FC head coach Thangboi Singto believes that Monday’s match is the most important one as it will give Lajong the chance to finish in top five. Commenting on tomorrow’s match he said, “We need to prepare our best for a top five finish.”
“Rangdajied has done better than us at home. They have top players in each position. Coach Herring is a very good and experienced coach. It will be a difficult game for us but all the players will give their hundred percent”, he said.
The boys know what is at stake as the league proceeds to its end. They have been training very hard and coach Thangboi stressed on the fact that the team has to be defensively compact and should not conceed early in the match.
“Rangdajied has good strikers but we also have strikers who can score at any moment. But the team who is more hungry for a win, will come out as victors”, he concluded.
Even though the Reds are in the fifth position with 32 points, they are in the process of creating its own history as a win will take them to fourth position in the league with one more game left to play. The game promises to be an exciting clash between the two sides as Rangdajied United are in the tenth position with 24 points and hence are the more desperate side as they cannot afford to lose the match.