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

Shillong Lajong travel to Kolkata to face East Bengal

Shillong Lajong FC's Redeem Tlang in action (Photo courtesy: Shillong Lajong FC)

After playing five back to back matches at home, Shillong Lajong FC gets ready for another battle, this time away from home, in Siliguri when they take on Bengal Giants, East Bengal Club on February 15 at the Kanchenjunga Stadium at 16.30 IST. The match will be live streamed at I-League’s official website

Lajong had a terrific time at home since 21st January as they won four consecutive games, against Minerva Punjab, Mumbai FC, Chennai City FC and Churchill Brothers SC. Their winning spree however was put to an end by Pune side DSK Shivajians last Saturday and the Reds went down narrowly by a scoreline of 1-2.

The highlight for Lajong so far has been the superb form of the Cameroonian striker, Aser Dipanda Dicka who is now the leading goal scorer in the I-League with 7 goals from 8 matches. He scored all of these goals at home and Thangboi Singto is hoping he continues netting goals for the team in the next two away games as well.

Despite going down to DSK last weekend, Thangboi Singto was satisfied with the way the team kept their fighting spirit alive till the final whistle of the match. Singto also said that the boys showed real zeal and they were fighting so hard for the win. The gaffer expects the team to keep the fighting spirit going full on with positive attitude especially in these two crucial away matches.

Shillong Lajong is on fourth position with 12 points from 8 matches.

Shillong Lajong FC Head Coach Thangboi Singto said, “We are working on areas where we need to improve on defensively and in attack. We need to approach every match with unity and team work. The aim should be to do well in the remaining matches.”

The gaffer also commented on East Bengal and said, “East Bengal is a strong and balanced team. We need to work more on what we need to do against them and how best we can get good results. We need to keep playing as per our strengths and all players need to contribute to the team.”

Lajong’s opponent for the week day game in the 9th round of the I-League is table toppers, East Bengal FC. The Red and Gold brigade is yet to face defeat in the I-League this season. They opened their new season campaign with a 1-1 draw against Aizawl FC at home, won their next five matches and drew their recent derby match against Mohun Bagan by 0-0.

They are on 20 points and have won 6 and drew two games. They have scored 17 goals so far with players such as Wedson Anselme and Willis Plaza have netted five goals each from 8 matches and along with Ivan Bukenya, they play an integral role in the East Bengal line up.

Trevor Morgan’s side are hoping to extend their winning run when they square off with Shillong Lajong tomorrow, although, their record against Lajong may have been a topsy-turvy affair.

The last time the two sides met was actually in the Federation Cup campaign where the young Shillong side emerged victorious and progressed to the final four with 4-3 on aggregate. (Lajong won at home by 2-1 and drew 2-2 away.)

In the I-League last season however, East Bengal won their home game with a 4-0 margin but lost their away tie in Shillong by one goal to nil.

Kanchenjunga is an unfamiliar ground for Thangboi Singto’s young squad and will be playing for the first time at the venue which has now proved to be a very lucky home ground for East Bengal this season.

However, Shillong Lajong are more focused on getting back to winning ways and are aiming for full points and promise to fight on till the end of the final whistle in tomorrow’s massive voltage clash in Siliguri.

(Shillong Lajong FC Press Release)