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

Chennai City FC to host young Shillong Lajong FC

Match action during the I-League encounter Shillong Lajong FC v Chennai City FC (Photo courtesy: Shillong Lajong FC)

The young Shillong Lajong FC squad will be back in action on February 19th when they take on Chennai City FC in the 10th round of the Hero I-League 2016/17 season in Chennai at 19.05 IST. The match will broadcast live on Ten 2.

Thangboi Singto’s army have enjoyed a good run of matches since 21st January. They first won four back to back matches at home; against Minerva Punjab, Mumbai FC, Chennai City and Churchill Brothers but succumbed to a 1-2 defeat to DSK Shivajians in their fifth home game before they departed for Siliguri to face off East Bengal.

In Siliguri, the Reds displayed a brave performance against the I-League table leaders, East Bengal Club. They scored the first goal courtesy Samuel Lalmuanpuia in the 20th minute but Willis Plaza cancelled the lead to level the score in the 45th minute of the game. Shillong Lajong then saw a few chances coming their way in the second session but the Bengal custodian Rehenesh TP did well to thwart their several attempts on goal. Similarly, Trevor Mogran’s side had their share of chances in the game but Vishal Kaith was also having a good game of his own to deny East Bengal and was awarded the Hero of the Match. Thus, in the end, a highly experienced and an undefeated side, East Bengal FC, had to settle for one point to share it with the very young Shillong Lajong squad who started with 8 U-22 players.

Shillong Lajong is on 13 points now after 9 matches played and are on the fourth position. The Reds whose majority consist of Under 22 Players, have fought very hard to climb up the table and the gaffer, Thangboi Singto, is certain they will put up another commendable display against Chennai on Sunday.

Thangboi Singto spoke ahead of tomorrow’s clash and said, “The weather and the ground is unknown to us and this will be a big test tomorrow.”

“Charles and Thank are the two foreigners who can create big problem for us. But we need to win this game and take home the three points.”

On the other side, the I-League debutants, Chennai City FC, are heading into tomorrow’s clash after playing a 1-1 draw with Churchill Brothers at home on 14th February. With this draw, the South Indian team have collected 8 points and are on the 7th position in the I-League standings.

Chennai City have played as many as five matches at home out of which, they drew goalless in their first I-League game against fellow debutants, Minerva Punjab FC. After picking up their first ever point in the I-League, they went down to Mohun Bagan in their second home game by a score line of 1-2. Chennai then won their first match in their third home game against Aizawl FC by 2-0 and registered another victory at home by 2-1 against Mumbai FC on February 11.

The last time Shillong Lajong and Chennai City faced off each other was on 31st January this year, where in the former emerged victorious on the occasion in Shillong with the score line of 2-0. Aser Dipanda Dicka was the goal scorer netting two goals in each half. The Cameroonian is the leading top scorer with 7 goals from 9 games in the current I-league season.

Thangboi Singto is hoping the youngsters continue to perform in the same fashion and keep the fighting spirit and energy alive till the end of the final whistle. The Reds are going all out for the victory and their intentions remain clear and that is to return back home with nothing less than three points.

(Shillong Lajong FC Press Release)