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Shillong Lajong FC face newcomers Gokulam Kerala FC in I-League opener

Shillong Lajong FC assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew and defender Hardycliff Nongbri at the I-League pre-match press conference. (Photo courtesy: Shillong Lajong FC)

The I-League returns to Shillong on Monday, November 27 when Shillong Lajong FC host I-League debutants Gokulam Kerala FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at 8pm.

The tickets for the first game are available at the SSA Stadium Polo Ground, The Mobile Centre Police Bazaar and Sports Spirit MUDA Complex, Police Bazaar.

The Reds are all set for the new season and will make full use of the home advantage and with the support of their fans are looking to secure the first three points at home on Monday.

Lajong FC’s assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew seemed very aware of the debutant’s threat and said his boys will be mentally prepared for the challenge.

Alison Kharsyntiew at the pre-match press conference said, “Gokulam is a new side in the I-League and we are sure they are going to give their 100% and a strong fight in their first ever I-League match.”

“First game is always important for every club and we have faith in the players. As a team, we need to be confident and perform well. We will go all out for 3 points.” he added.

The Reds will be very much relying on the defensive duties of the experienced foreigner duo of South Korean Juho Oh and Equatorial Guinea’s Lawrence Doe. “We have two senior defenders, Juho and Doe. We also have our young dynamic defenders. All of them are good defenders,” Alison said.

“But the Defence will be stronger if they work together as a cohesive unit. If they can do that then our defence will be strong,” he also added.

The new foreign signings Daniel Odafin will be employed with the task of commanding the midfield while strikers Aiman and Koffi will be expected to convert the chances created into goals.

Lajong FC’s young guns from the Academy who have had the experience in playing I-League before, like Redeem Tlang, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Shaibor Kharpan and Hardycliff Nongbri will be entrusted with the task of making sure their team grabs all the three points at home tomorrow with a solid performance.

Gokulam FC, on the other hand, will be hoping to make a dream start in the new season of the I-League. They played friendly matches against a few ISL teams and also drew against their Kerala counterparts Kerala Blasters FC.

Speaking to the media at the training ground in Shillong, Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Bino George said, “It is very cold in Shillong and we are trying to acclimatise to the climate.”

“We are set for the match as the team has worked very hard during the preseason and have trained well.”

“We are expecting a tough game on Monday against Shillong Lajong but we are confident in our boys and we will give a good fight,” Binu George added.

(Shillong Lajong FC)