Shillong Lajong suffered defeat at the hands of Churchill Brothers in the I-league match played on November 15 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa by 4-2.
Willis Plaza scored a hattrick and D Cessay scored one goal for Churchill Brothers. Meanwhile, Samuel Lalmuanpuia and Samuel Lyngdoh Kynshi scored a goal each for Lajong.
Churchill Brothers displayed a strong performance against Shillong Lajong in their home ground. Their foreign recruits D Cessay and W Plaza combined well to create problems in Lajong’s defensive shape. It was these two involved in the host’s first goal as Cessay delivered a perfect cross for Plaza to put it inside the goal through a header from close range in the 18th minute.
Lajong captain Samuel Lalmuanpuia returned to the team and almost found the goal in the early minutes of the match from a long-range effort. It was, in fact, his shot from the edge of the box that found the equaliser for Lajong in the 30th minute.
Chances were flowing plenty for the hosts and they eventually restored their lead to 2-1 in the 39th minute after Cessay found the back of the net after an assist from Plaza.
Lajong started the second half on the front foot and Samuel Lyngdoh Kynshi equalised in the 48th minute. However, it was Plaza again who scored for Churchill in the 51st minute from Israil Gurung’s delivery. He then completed his hattrick in the 54th minute after a powerful run against the defence to beat the goalkeeper.
The host were already leading 4-2 at this stage. Lajong worked hard but their inexperience and lack of a clinical finisher meant they could not get back in the game. Nabin Rabha and Mahesh Singh were even brought into the game but neither could make an impact for Lajong.
In the additional time, Samuel Lalmuanpuia took a free kick from outside the box but it hit the post and cleared to safety, ending the match at 4-2 in favour of Churchill Brothers.
Having failed to earn a point in the last 3 away matches, Lajong will return to Shillong and hope to get a better result when they face Minerva Punjab at home in the Hero I-league competition on November 23.