Monday, June 24, 2024

Lajong’s trip to Sikkim ends in goalless stalemate


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Gangtok: The I-League’s first North-East derby between United Sikkim and Shillong Lajong ended in a goalless draw at Paljor Stadium, here on Saturday.

Lajong remain in ninth place in the points table, with Sikkim moving up to 11th place.

The home side, without the presence of the club’s principal owner Baichung Bhutia, came out determined and created some good chances, but were denied by some great saves from Shillong Lajong goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte.

Defender Minchol Son also stood out.

Ralte showed fantastic reflexes to deny a fierce header from United Sikkim central defender Sandesh Jhingan in the first half.

In the 36th minute, United Sikkim captain Michael Rodriguez floated in a free-kick from over 40 yards and Jhingan’s shot to it was somehow kept out by Lajong defenders.

Sandesh’s header off the resulting corner produced a spectacular save from Ralte who dived to his right and tipped the ball over the bar.

Later a corner taken by Lajong was scrambled out by the Sikkim defenders out of their box but the ball dropped in nicely for Jacob Lalrawngbawla.

His first time volley was smartly saved by Sikkim goalie Monotosh Ghosh.

Sikkim’s interim coach Bhaichung Bhutia was away in his native village of Tinkitam to attend the funeral of his father, who passed away on Thursday.

In other matches, Dempo beat Prayag United 3-1, while ONGC held Sporting Clube de Goa 2-2.

Despite the draw, SLFC coach Desmond Bulpin said, “This is a very good away game result for us as we managed to pick up a point this time and the boys have worked really hard and played a good game today.” (UNI)


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