Shillong Lajong FC registered their first win at home through a solitary goal from Brazilian forward Fabio Pena. The visitors on the other hand have now suffered their 4th defeat in a row and would be disappointed with their unfinished chances. Lajong won the match 1-0 in an I-League encounter held today at the JN Stadium Shillong.
The match began with very positive intent from both teams as they threatened to go up front in the early stages. A sequence of chances from both the teams saw the closest chance falling to the visiting Goan side. Seityasen and Jackichand Singh started for Salgaocar FC and combined well as early as the 6th minute. Jackichand Singh worked his way cleverly into the box only for his delicate pass to be headed wide by Seityasen Singh. The chances though kept coming and on the 20th minute the opportunity fell to Fabio Pena who almost put the home side on the lead. The Brazilian duo of Uilliams Souza and Fabio had good chemistry upfront throughout the match and was the major cause of concern for the Goans.
Lajong again had chances when they won a series of corners towards the end of the match but were not able to put themselves ahead in the match. Both sides were able to create some good positive attacking play towards the end but neither side could take the lead as the eventful first half came to a close. The two coaches looked pretty content with the score all level at half time and with plenty of work in the dressing rooms for the teams going into the second half.
The second half began as the first one ended. The attacking prowess possessed by both sides was on display for the evening but it was the The Reds’ Brazilian duo that performed on the day. Shillong Lajong went marauding forward as soon as the match resumed with Fabio winning the home side a free kick as early as the 47th minute. The resulting free kick ended up on the feet of Uilliams who fired a low cross towards his fellow countryman Fabio, while the latter made no mistake in finishing the chance. Fabio stretched out his right leg to give Shillong Lajong the lead to much of the amusement of the home support.
Salgaocar though did not sit back and took the fight to the home side as they pressed Lajong on the backfoot. The Reds however looked content with sitting back and approaching aggressively on the counter. A flurry of chances was created by both the sides in the second half and Gilbert Oliveira almost put the visiting Goans up in the 70th minute. His effort deflected off the crossbar and out of the goal mouth as luck would not favour the visiting side.
The game maintained its high intensity pace with free kicks, corners and brawls aplenty. The match approached the end seeing one more glorious opportunity fall for Brazilian striker Fabio to double the lead for the hosts but it was Karanjit Singh’s turn to get the limelight. A deflected shot looped up in front of Fabio Pena whose header was on target from close range but the Salgaocar custodian denied Lajong their second goal with a brilliant reflex save.
That was however the last clear chance of the match as the final whistle blew in favour of Shillong Lajong FC who now pick up their first three points and open their tally for the season. Salgaocar FC however have slipped to the bottom of the table with 4 defeats from as many games.
Lajong will host Sporting Clube De Goa on Sunday at the JN Stadium Shillong at 4:30pm.