A match expected to be a tough encounter for both teams turned up on its head when Salgaocar’s hope of a revival after their poor run of form was cancelled completely by a brilliant display from The Reds.
The match started poorly for both teams without any clear cut chances. However in the 14th minute, Lajong got the breakthrough and earned their first goal after the Salgaocar defence was caught sleeping. A clever lobbed pass from Taisuke Matsugae was headed by Lajong winger Seikhohao Tuboi into the top corner.
The goal meant that Derrick Perreira’s tactics were in vain as he made a rare change in the 29th minute when he brought on Clifton Dias for Mascarenhas. The tactical switch however was not successful as Thangboi Singto’s men created many chances and added a lot of pressure to The Greens’ keeper Karanjit Singh. Lajong got their second in the 36th minute after a brilliant low cross from Cornell Glen was converted successfully by the Federation Cup debutant Redeem Tlang, which was his first senior team goal. Lajong nearly got their third only for Subash’s effort to go over the bar. The half ended with Shillong Lajong in the advantage.
Lajong began the 2nd half much like they ended the first with Glen almost finding the net only 50 seconds after the break. Glen had controlled the ball on his chest after which his shot went past Salgaocar’s goalkeeper Kiranjit Singh and off the post.
It did not take long for Lajong to find their third goal which came in the 48th minute when Japanese recruit Taisuke Matsugae made an easy run through Clifton Dias to find a lot of space after which his thunderous strike proved to be too much for the Salgaocar custodian.
Lajong made another smart move in the 61st minute which gave them their fourth goal and secured the three points as well. Glen who had assisted one for his team found himself on the edge of the box with and his left footed strike went into the back of the net.
Shillong Lajong are now strong contenders for the Federation Cup and will take on Kolkata side Mohun Bagan AC on the 18th of January, Saturday at 4:00PM. The match will be broadcast live on Ten Action.