Shillong Lajong emerged victorious against host Chennai City by scoring 4 goals and conceding one in the I-league encounter played in Chennai on February 19. Fabio, Isaac, Bipin and Dipanda Dicka were on the score sheet for Lajong while Haroon Amiri earned a consolation goal for the host.
Thangboi Singto named an unchanged line up that played the 1-1 draw against East Bengal last Wednesday in Siliguri. The young Lajong squad were all set for the clash in a very unfamiliar ground and city. This is the first time that the team was playing a game in the South Indian city.
The host Chennai City started the first half on an attacking mode which saw them have more of the ball possession and also made many good moves upfront. The I-League newbies troubled Lajong’s defence on numerous occasions in the first 20 minutes of the match but lacked quality.
Lajong’s custodian, Vishal Kaith had to make a crucial save in the 6th minute from a header by Amiri. Lajong did not find any rhythm in the game as Chennai were comfortably controlling possession. Lajong gaffer then replaced Redeem Tlang with Fabio Pena in the 27th minute and the early substitution proved effective as Lajong looked more balanced in possession against Chennai City. The substitution worked wonders for Lajong as Fabio Pena found the back of the net with a header in the 38th minute from Isaac’s free kick to give Lajong the lead. Even though Chennai had more opportunities in the first half, it was Lajong who had the one goal lead at the end of the first half.
Chennai City made two changes early in the second half by bringing on Brazilian Forward Marcos Vinicius and midfielder, Soosairaj to try and level the score. The host played good football today but Lajong were more clinical in their attack. The visitors moved the ball around very well to frustrate the host. Lajong won a free kick just outside Chennai City’s box and Isaac Vanmalsawma stepped up to take it. His free kick went straight to the bottom right corner of the net gave his side a 2-0 lead in the 65th minute. The visitors, Shillong Lajong FC were flying high on attack and created a lot of chances.
Youngster Bipin Singh of Lajong also found his name in the scoresheet in the 77th minute after curling a shot in the top corner of the goal. Goal scoring machine Dipanda Dicka made sure he was still the highest goal scorer of the league so far after he found the back of the net in the 79th minute beating the defence and the keeper.
Lajong were already leading 4-0 and the Head Coach brought on Rocus Lamare and Joseph Lalfakzuala in place of Yuta Kinowaki and Isaac respectively.
The host managed to score eventually in the 89th minute courtesy a goal from Haroon Amiri. The match ended 4-1 in favour of Shillong Lajong.
With this win, Shillong Lajong have 16 points from 10 matches played and stand on 4th position in the I-league table.
Lajong will play their next match in Shillong against East Bengal on 4th March 2017 after the match against Mohun Bagan on 25th February was postponed.