Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Mawlai inflict huge defeat on Shillong Lajong to reach semis

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By Our Reporter

Shillong, April 23: Reigning champions Mawlai SC stormed into the Shillong Premier League 2023 semifinals with a 5-0 romp against Shillong Lajong FC at the SSA Stadium at First Ground, Polo, here on Tuesday.
In the heaviest SPL defeat Lajong have experienced in the last 10 years, Mawlai scored through Fullmoon Mukhim (12’), Kevin Rymbai (47’), Brolington Warlarpih (49’), Donlad Diengdoh (72’) and Romarius Laban (76’).There was just one goal in the first half, scored by Fullmoon after a backpass gone wrong handed him an opportunity on a platter.
A few minutes later, Mawlai made a similar mistake but they were lucky in that the ball trickled wide before Lajong’s Deibormame Tongper could get to it. Deibor is the season’s top scorer with seven goals but he was kept quiet on Tuesday.
Resuming after the break, Lajong could take solace from only being one goal down but the next five minutes would see Mawlai go up 3-0. First SLFC failed to deal decisively with a faltering Mawlai attack and Kevin then found the back of the net with an accurate left-footer that left Lajong goalie Haokip rooted to the spot.
Two minutes later, the defending champs earned a free-kick from distance. Captain Brolington, who had fired one wildly over the bar in the first half, backed himself again and this time was on target. Haokip was easily behind the ball, however, but it struck his gloves and burst through and went over the line. The keeper was soon substituted for Wanteilang Malngiang but the change could not prevent a couple more goals for Mawlai.
Before they came about, Lajong had a couple of look-ins, with a Shano Tariang strike gloved onto the crossbar by Mawlai custodian Siwel Rymbai. Deibor then had a chance after reckless passing at the back by Mawlai but he made a hash of an attempt deep in the box and Mawlai were let off the hook. Donlad would go on to miss one following a lovely cross by Raikutshisha Buam but it only took a few more minutes before he was given another opportunity and this time he made no mistake for his fourth goal of the season. Romarius had set up that goal with a neat pass and the substitute went on to score one for himself soon after. He ran up the pitch with the ball and had team mates to pass to but chose to go for glory and he earned it with a smashing strike.
With 13 points now, unbeaten Mawlai are sure to finish in the Top 4 of the round robin stage. On the other hand, while such a loss is disappointing, SLFC will know that they have two games to go against the bottom-most sides and they will back themselves to win against them to progress to the semis.
On Wednesday, Ryntih SC will be up against Sawmer SC at 3:15pm. A win for Ryntih would lift them above Lajong in the standings, while Sawmer are still hunting for their first points of the campaign.

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