Lajong on the cusp of final round


SHILLONG: The junior Shillong Lajong team registered yet another victory in the Under-19 I-League North East Zone Qualifiers by drubbing Green Valley FC 4-0 at the JN Stadium, Polo, on Tuesday.
The Reds have remained unbeaten so far in the tournament under the watchful eye of coach Alison Kharsytiew, who made a few changes in the starting line up for the game. Nihal (Goalkeeper) replaced Nitin Meel, who is injured, and Ksanpukar, Hardy and Nabin were also included in the starting eleven.
Lajong dominated throughout the match with the first goal coming early in the sixth minute when Hardy Cliff Nongbri slotted the ball home from outside the box.
A big chance came for Lajong in the 24th minute, when Redeem Tlang’s cross found Shanbor but the latter’s shot went just a few inches wide.
Confidence was brimming in the home team as they continued with the same momentum and Ksankupar made a good cross to find left back Rupert Nongrum, who also made a good run and flicked the ball past keeper Mulya Rabha into the left side of the net.
The first half ended with a scoreline of 2-0 in favour of the Reds.
The second session saw the home team press hard and they dominated ball possession.
Furthermore, Lajong’s backline did a fantastic job to deny Green Valley’s attempts on goal. The Guwahati team found it extremely hard to get past Lajong’s defence and were losing the ball very easily.
Bipin Singh, who failed to convert his chances in the first half, made no mistake when provided the opportunity in the second as he took a beautiful shot to give his team a 3-0 lead in the 64th minute. Captain Redeem also registered his name on the scoresheet in the 70th minute to make it 4-0 and put the game to rest.
With this win, the junior Reds are sitting pretty at the top of the table with 12 points from four matches, while Green Valley FC are at the bottom of the table with only one point earned from the same number of games.
On Wednesday, Royal Wahingdoh will take on Rangdajied United at the JN Stadium at 1:00pm.
Neither Rangdajied nor Green Valley have a hope of qualifying, but Wahingdoh’s journey will be far from easy. With six points from three games, they will need to win all three of their next fixtures in order to keep their chances alive.
A loss for them or even a draw on Wednesday will ensure that Lajong go through.

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