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Rangdajied pip Shillong Lajong

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By Our Reporter

Shillong, April 13: Rangdajied United FC ended the week on top of the Shillong Premier League 2023 standings with a 2-1 victory over Shillong Lajong FC at the SSA Stadium at First Ground, Polo, here on Saturday.
Captain Arlangky Nongsiej (18’P) and Ksankupar Khongmalai (79’) scored for Rangdajied and Deibormame Tongper (25’) for Lajong. However, SLFC will rue a missed penalty in the seventh minute by their skipper Gladdy Kharbuli.
Both clubs had won all three of their previous matches, so RUFC have now extended their run to four in a row, while Lajong have tasted defeat for the first time this season.
It was a foul on Istar Marngar that gave Lajong the early opportunity but Gladdy’s shot was punched away by Rangdajied goalkeeper Banshanskhem Kharsyntiew, who had a good day between the sticks. Exactly 10 minutes later, and at the other end of the pitch, a similar foul committed on Ieitlang Syiemlieh gave Rangdajied a penalty of their own, which was converted by defender Arlangky – Lajong keeper Haokip guessed the wrong way and the ball flew into the net. Unfortunately Arlangky had to be stretchered off in the second half after a heavy collision with an opponent while going for the ball and he played no further part in the match.
RUFC’s lead did not last long, however, as Deibormame (SPL 2023’s top scorer with 7 goals now) found the equaliser with a left-footer following on from a pass by Babysunday Marngar.
Deibor and Rangdajied’s Stephan Pale both dragged further efforts wide and the two teams went into half time level on 1-1.
The second half saw more of the same but there was enough action and near-misses to keep the sizeable crowd engaged with the proceedings.
What proved to be the winning goal took everyone by surprise, probably no one more so than the Lajong goalie. Ksankupar sent in the free-kick looking for a team mate to head it in. However, the ball had a little more power than intended and it beat everyone, with Haokip reacting too late and he could only helplessly watch the ball ease into the back of the net.
Going behind again spurred SLFC on but master defenders Rangdajied, who have only conceded three goals – the fewest of any side – this season, held them off; Banshanskhem finished regulation time with a love diving save to deny Samchaphrang Lato what would have been a good goal.
Victory takes Rangdajied to 12 points, 2 ahead of second-placed Mawlai SC, with Lajong dropping to third on 9 points. Mawlai have yet to meet either of the other two, so there is still plenty of scope for further shuffling of the standings.
In the wake of Rangdajied United FC’s triumphant victory over Shillong Lajong FC, the curtains draw close on yet another enthralling chapter in the saga of the Shillong Premier League 2023.
As the final whistle echoed across the SSA Stadium at First Ground, Polo, the resounding cheers of the supporters echoed the dominance of RUFC, now perched atop the league standings with twelve points to their name.
Captain Arlangky Nongsiej’s early penalty strike, coupled with Ksankupar Khongmalai’s decisive goal, etched a memorable tale of perseverance and skill on the field. Despite the spirited efforts of Shillong Lajong, whose valiant attempts to level the scoreline showcased the true spirit of the game, fate ultimately favored the indomitable spirit of Rangdajied. As the dust settles on this exhilarating encounter, one thing remains certain – the fervor of the Shillong Premier League continues to captivate hearts and minds, promising many more moments of sporting brilliance in the days to come.

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