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East Bengal and Shillong Lajong set for I-League clash at Barasat Stadium

Shillong Lajong FC squad (Photo courtesy: Shillong Lajong FC)

Shillong Lajong FC will look to carry on the winning momentum when they clash against East Bengal Club in the December 9 fixture of the Hero I-League at the Barasat Stadium at 5:30 PM. The match will telecast live on Star Sports 2/Star Sports 2 HD/Hotstar App/Jio TV.

Shillong Lajong enjoyed two back to back victories at home; against Gokulam Kerala (1-0) and Churchill Brothers (2-0). They have also maintained a clean sheet thanks to some good goalkeeping by the youngster, Phurba Lachenpa and commendable performances by the defensive combination of Laurence Doe, Juho Oh, Rakesh Pradhan, Novin Gurung and Kynsailang Khongsit. They have all got the opportunity to play in the first two games for Lajong.

The goals thus far have come from their Academy products namely, Redeem Tlang and Samuel Lyngdoh Kynshi. Both scored in the second match while in the first game, the solitary goal was as a result of an own goal after Alen Deory’s shot was deflected towards the back of the net.

The creative teamwork of Daniel Odafin and Hardycliff Nongbri in midfield has been exceptional and skipper, Samuel Lalmuanpuia has lived up to captain duties, kept the team together well and has delivered a brilliant performance as a linkman upfront.

Crossing over, in the last season of the I-League when East Bengal hosted Lajong in Siliguri on 15th February, both teams played a 1-1 draw. Lajong had picked up a point from this away fixture last season and Samuel Lalmuanpuia was the goal provider.

This season, the Kolkata outfit has appointed Khalid Jamil as the head coach and were very busy in the transfer market as they brought in many new fresh faces in the squad.

They roped in Syrian midfielder from Aizawl FC Mahmoud Al-Amnah, Katsumi Yusa and Eduardo Ferreira from Mohun Bagan, Charles De Souza and Richard Costa from Chennai City and Churchill Brothers respectively. Other notable signings include defender Salam Ranjan from Bengaluru FC, Lalramchullova and Laldanmawia from Aizawl FC.

The Bengal giants finished third last season with 33 points.

Shillong Lajong Head Coach, Bobby Nongbet, shared his views on the last two games and what is expected from the upcoming game.

He said, “Winning our last 2 matches at home has build confidence in the team. Playing away from home is expected to be very challenging and especially with the reputation of East Bengal. But we have gained the momentum and are ready for the challenge to perform well.”

Lajong is currently 2nd with six points from 2 games and Coach Bobby Nongbet is impressed with the team’s performances in the last two matches. He said, “We always want the young players as well as the foreigners to learn from every game. They have performed well so far and we need to be consistent.”

East Bengal lost to arch-rivals Mohun Bagan by one goal in the Kolkata derby last Sunday. Khalid Jamil’s side is expected to bounce back by giving a top-notch performance against a young Lajong side in tomorrow’s match.

Coach Bobby is aware of the threat and has commented on the Kolkata side.

“East Bengal has good local as well foreign players. They are a very tough and experienced side. We will go into this match giving extra efforts and give our 100 percent in order to gain three points.”

“The team has prepared well for this game and we are ready to put up a good fight.

(Shillong Lajong FC)