Lajong Beat Dempo
The Reds from the North East secured their first away win of the season in the Hero I-League 2014-15, winning by a score line of 2-0 against Dempo SC in what was a great performance by Lajong at the Fatorda Stadium Goa on Saturday.
Boithang Haokip’s brilliant free kick in the 55th minute and Cornell Glen’s individual brilliance provided the two winning goals for Lajong.
The match witnessed the return of North Korean Defender Minchol Son in the back four and made a huge impact as the Lajong Defense was resolute.
The first chance of the match fell to the host in the second minute of the match when Indian international, Lenny Rodrigues found the ball on his feet and took on a shot at goal but the alert Lajong custodian Rehenesh TP did well to deny the early lead to Dempo.
The Reds however began to stamp their authority on the match with good chances in front of goal. A good counter attack in the 10th minute, saw Glen provide a good through ball to Penn Orji who could have put it past the keeper but his shot was narrowly deflected off for a corner.
Lajong came very close again to break the deadlock in the 23rd minute. A good play by Penn Orji this time found Cornell Glen but the former world cupper was heavily marked by the Dempo defenders as his shot was blocked away for a corner.
It was all Lajong in the attack as few minutes later the Reds got another chance to surge ahead in the match. Penn Orji made a good run and fed the ball to Uilliams Souza Silva but the Brazilians shot goes just few inches wide. Then in the 28th minute was the best chance for Lajong to take the lead as Penn passed the ball to Seiminlen Doungel who dribbled past defenders really well inside the box and then flicked it on to Glen but his shot unfortunately was not on target.
Even though Dempo had slightly more percentage of ball possession, they lacked rhythm up front and hence did not trouble the Lajong Custodian. Shillong Lajong could have caused some serious damage to the host but were unlucky not being able to convert the numerous chances as both sides ended the first half goalless.
Dempo made two changes at the start of the second half as Jewel Raja and Mandar Desai replaced Alwyn George and Germanpreet Singh. Lajong meanwhile did not make any changes in halftime but continued to counter attack. Then in the 54th minute, Cornell Glen worked his way past a couple of blue shirts until he was brought down outside the box for a Lajong free-kick. Boithang Haokip claimed the ball and took an excellent curling Free Kick which sailed into the corner of the net giving Lajong the much deserving lead.
After trailing by one goal, Dempo started to be on the attacking mode and almost equalised in the 67th minute but Tolgay’s shot was deflected by Lajong Captain, Aibor Khonjee for a corner. The home team were finding it difficult to break Lajong’s defence as the game wore on. Costa Rican, Carlos Hernandez was brought on by Arthur Papas to replace Clifford Miranda.
Then in the 69th minute, Cornell Glen dribbled past two Dempo defenders and beat the keeper to double the lead for his side. The home game could have come back into the game as a header by Tolgay was saved by Rehenesh TP.
In the last ten minutes of the game, Boithang suffered a knock and had to be replaced by Zodingliana.
Lajong stayed composed until the final whistle was blown earning themselves a crucial away win in Goa. Dempo on the other suffered its first defeat of the league. The Reds now have two wins in the Hero I-League and will play their next game at home against Mohun Bagan on the 27th of February 2015.