Shillong, July 30: Table toppers of this seasonâ€™s Shillong Premier League (SPL), Rangdajied United FC fell to Nangkiew Irat SC 0-2 on Monday at the J. N. Stadium.
The loss means that Rangdajied United FCâ€™s nine match winning run finally ended on Monday which could be blamed on a younger side being fielded. The move is most likely part of the Rangdajied campâ€™s strategy to rest their senior players for the upcoming games including the semi-finals, which they are virtually assured of reaching.
The resilient Nangkiew Irat SC displayed dominancy and ranked higher in terms of ball possession and shots taken throughout the match.
The first half went goalless despite some near misses by Nangkiew. The 18th minute could have produced a goal for the underdogs when Laldingngheta missed two clear shots. He first took a shot barely eight yards from the keeper, who put the ball away only for striker Ezeani to earn possession. Ezeani then made another short pass to Laldingngheta, who took another wayward shot as the keeper lost balance.
However, Laldingngheta was influential in his sideâ€™s first goal when he sent a fine corner straight to Ezeani in the 50th minute, who flicked the ball past Rangdajiedâ€™s goalie Shambhu.
Barely three minutes later, Laldingngheta made one more fine pass, this time for Suresh Singh to score. Ezeani could have made it three for Nangkiew in the 76th minute after he missed an easy chance, collecting a rebound and taking the shot.
Rangdajiedâ€™s only clear-cut opportunity came in the 89th minute with an Ericson shot hitting the post and therefore, denying them a consolation goal.