Friday, June 14, 2024
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Langsning beat Ar-Hima in scintillating final

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By Our Reporter

 

Langsning players pose with the winner's trophy in the city on Thursday (ST)

SHILLONG: In what could be termed as a befitting final between two formidable teams, Langsning FC defeated Ar-Hima 5-3 via tiebreaker to win the 22nd All India Meghalaya Invitation Football Tournament played at First Division Ground, Polo here on Thursday.

The win would be more satisfying for Langsning who lost in three finals they played this year which includes 60th Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Bordoloi Trophy and the Independence Cup.

On the other hand, it was the second consecutive defeat in the fianl of a tournament for Ar-Hima who were also runners-up in the recently concluded Shillong Premier League where they lost to Royal Wahingdoh.

Though both Langsning and Ar-Hima lived up to the expectations of the thousands of fans present, it was the former who proved a superior team in Thursday’s final in terms of dictating the pace of the match and ball possession, especially in the second half.

It could have been a high scoring affair if both teams would not have missed out on the many chances to score. Credit also goes to the rival custodians who had an excellent game.

Ar-Hima got the first real chance to lead when its striker Bansharai Sunn missed an easy opening and went wide of the goal in the 14th minute.

However, it was Langsning who drew first blood in the 17th minute when Victor Shadap made an excellent cross from the right flank to find Yinka Joel Sunday Ayeni who headed the ball into the nets.

As Ar-Hima desperately looked for the equaliser, star striker Babatunde Oyomide Badmus nearly converted for his team in the 23rd minute. But a mistimed short from the leading scorer for Ar-Hima saw the ball roll to Langsning goalkeeper Thrangachan Tungsang.

Meanwhile, Langsning’s Korean midfielder Ho Jun Shin nearly doubled the lead in the 29th minute when his long range shot dipped over the cross bar.

Two minutes later, Kyrshan Lyngshing almost put Ar-Hima back into the match after his powerful right footer missed the goal by a whisker. Victor Shadap missed a golden opportunity in the 32nd minute to put Langsning into lead after his shot hit the bar following a rebound from Ar-Hima custodian Marcus Basumatry. It was an intense session of football and in the closing stages of the first half, Ar-Hima missed another chance to get the equalizer after Kyrshan Lyngshing’s powerful strike was brilliantly saved by the Langsning goalkeeper.

After the break, Ar-Hima came out determined still searching for the elusive equaliser and their efforts finally paid off after Babatunde’s excellent header sailed into the woodwork to level the scores in the 59th minute. Both Langsning and Ar-Hima now played a more technical game in search of the winning goal.

A major controversy evolved in the match after the referee denied a goal scored by Langsning’s Ho Jun Shin through a well crafted free kick in the 62nd minute. As the ball sailed into the net, the referee ruled out the goal which according to him was scored of an indirect free kick. Despite this, Langsning nearly scored the winning goal when Ayeni’s shot missed the woodwork in the 82nd minute. Ar-Hima’s Stephan Field Lanong struck powerfully to give Langsning one last scare but failed to capitalise. In the stipulated 90th minutes, the match was levelled at 1-1.

After both Langsning and Ar-Hima failed to score even during the extra time, the match was finally decided by a tie-breaker. Langsning finally lifted the trophy after two Ar-Hima players Restum Khriam and Dapbor Bareh missed to score in the tie-breaker. Langsning coach L Darlong said, “I would give full credit for playing an excellent game despite a hectic schedule in this whole season,” Darlong said.

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