I-League 2018-19: Shillong Lajong overpower Churchill Brothers FC 3-2

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Shillong, Feb 05: Shillong Lajong FC emerged victorious at their home turf in the Hero I-League 2018-19 season as they defeated Churchill Brothers FC Goa by a 3-2 score line at the JN Stadium in Shillong on Tuesday.

Samuel Kynshi opened the scoring in the 36th minute and then went on the double the team’s lead in the 45th minute from the penalty spot. Willis Plaza scored in the 53rd minute and then Anthony Wolfe scored in the 70th minute to equalize. Mahesh Singh Naorem scored the winner in the 83rd minute for The Reds. With the goals on Tuesday, Samuel Kynshi and Mahesh Naorem Singh now join Phrangki Buam with 4 goals to their names.

Coach Alison made three changes going into the game as Kynsailang Khonsit, Samuel Lalmuanpuia and Lalawmpuia Hnamte had to make way for Novin Gurung, Rakesh Pradhan and Naorem Mahesh Singh. The game started in a brighter note for the young Lajong boys as they had three chances in the opposition box. Mahesh Naorem had a chance from a through ball from Kitbok but the forward failed to keep his balance and the opposition defenders cleared the danger away.

Lajong’s next clear chance came from a corner which Samuel Kynshi delivered from the left corner. Aiban was at the receiving end of the cross and his header was flicked on by Rakesh Pradhan which required the opponent’s keeper to make a great save to keep the game goalless. It was in the 36th minute when Lajong opened the scoring through Samuel Kynshi. Mahesh Naorem received the ball in the midfield and dribbled past two players and fed Kynshi who shot it from the distance to make it 1-0 for the hosts.

The second goal of the game came at the last minute of regulation time of the first half. Kitbok Pale had space on the right and he crossed it for Phrangki Buam who was making a run at the far post but Phrangki was pushed down inside the box by Chirchill’s Wayne Vaz and the referee awarded a penalty for Lajong. Samuel Kynshi stepped up to take the penalty and he made no mistake to make it 2-0 from the spot. The first half ended 2-0 after the end of 2 additional minutes.

The second half began with a forced substitution for The Reds as Phrangki Buam had to go out to be replaced by Samuel Lalmuanpuia. Right from the beginning of the second half, Churchill Brothers were the more dominant team looking to get back in the game. Despite the guests putting pressure, Lajong had the first chance of the game through Mahesh who was clear on goal, but he failed to find the back of the net from a very acute angle.

It was Willis Plaza who opened the scoring for the visitors. Nicholas Fernandes put in a cross past Phurba which was tapped in by Plaza to make it 2-1. Kitbok, minutes later had a chance at goal but he couldn’t manage to keep his shot on target. At the 70th minute, Anthony Wolfe equalized from a similar cross from Nicholas and made it 2-2.

Mahesh Naorem was getting many chances in the opposition half and it was at the 83rd minute when he took on the defenders and took his shot from outside of the box to go past the goalkeeper and made it 3-2 for Lajong. Churchill Brothers tried to get back into the game in the final minutes of the game but the resilient defence of Lajong gave their all and kept the score-line at 3-2 to make it their second home win of the season.

Shillong Lajong will now travel to Kolkata to face Quess East Bengal on 14th of February.