Shillong Lajong FC were again on the winning end as they defeated Churchill Brothers SC Goa 2-0 to in their second home match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Shillong today to go on top of the table with six points.
It was their Meghalaya boys Redeem Tlang and Samuel Lyngdoh Kynshi who scored for the hosts to give them win.
The Reds started with a similar lineup having made only two changes as Kynsailang Khongsit made way for Novin Gurung and Yemen international Aiman Al-Hagri made way for Ivory Coast international striker Abdoulaye Koffi.
Lajong started their first half a bit slow as both the team tried to have the ball in their possession. It was at the 10th minute when Lajong were awarded their first corner of the game but Alen failed to connect his volley from a delivery from Samuella. Moments later, Koffi too had a chance at the near post from a corner but failed to capitalise.
The Reds were quite threatening from the set pieces making life difficult for the Churchill defenders. Lajong’s first real chance came when Lawrence Doe headed down Samuella’s corner, but the ball ricocheted off Churchill’s keeper and went off the line.
It was at the 28th minute when the Lajong Faithfuls had their moment of the first half as their hero Redeem Tlang pounced on a corner from the left flank and found the back of the net to give The Reds their much-deserved reward of the half.
Moments later, Churchill’s Alber was through on goal but his shot was easily stopped by Lajong keeper Phurba. Churchill were pressing high after conceding to come back in the game and Odafin received a yellow for his foul in the process of keeping the visitors’ attack away.
The first half ended 1-0 for Lajong with the home team posing more of a threat to the opposition’s goal.
As the second half began, Churchill went all out in attack to get back in the game in search of an equaliser but the Lajong defenderswere on theirmark to keep the home team’s lead intact. Lajong too soon started to attack and at the 50th minute Rakesh’s cross from the right flank found Koffi but the striker’s shot went wide off the goal.
Koffi soon was subbed off with some discomfort in his knee and was replaced by Samuel Lyngdoh Kynshi. With Kynshi’s inclusion Lajong seemed more dominant on the ball and were creating chances up front. Redeem was finding space down the right wing and his crosses were creating trouble for the Churchill defenders to deal with.
Lajong’s keeper Phurba too was caught amidst the actions as he had to pull off a few saves to keep the visitors silent. Churchill substitute Uttam Rai shot a few but the forward failed to keep his shots on target.
It was then at the 72nd minute when few errors lead the ball onto Alen’s feet who was one on one with the keeper but failed to keep his shot in control; the keeper fumbled in the process of controlling the ball and Kynshi was right on time to head it back into the goal to double the hosts’ lead.
Samuel Kynshi with the goal became the youngest player from Meghalaya to score in the Hero I-League and the third youngest in the history of the league.
Even after doubling their lead The Reds didn’t sit back and rather were more attacking with the ball in their possession. In the dying moments of the game, right fullback Rakesh flew one in from the right which was well met by Alen but it went just over the goalkeeper as well as the bar.
With the referee’s final whistle, Shillong Lajong FC were declared victorious for the second consecutive time on their home turf without conceding any goals. Midfielder Hardy Cliff Nongbri was declared Hero of the Match.
The Reds will now travel to Kolkata to face the mighty Kingfisher East Bengal on 9th December.
(Shillong Lajong FC)