Shillong Lajong FC will take on defending champions Bengaluru FC in an I-League encounter at the J.N.Stadium,Shillong on 8th May 2015 at 4:30PM. The home side are in good spirits after their home win against Goan side Dempo SC but will have to remain focused as they face the top form Bengaluru FC who have a five game winning streak.
The Reds have upped the ante on their recent performance against Dempo SC scoring three goals within the first half and forcing their opponents down to ten men. The impressive display on home soil was surely exuberant but “consistency” is Lajong’s main goal towards the last 5 matches of the season said Thangboi Singto. The Lajong coach also added, “We have come back strongly against Dempo SC and the most important thing would be maintaining that consistency in the next match. It’s going to be very tough but we’re looking to play as a team, as a unit and hopefully get a good result.”
The Blues will be on their toes to grab their 6th win in 6th matches against the resurgent Lajong side but would not remain complacent playing in Shillong. Also present at the pre-match press conference today, Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood said, “We’ve only got four games left so every game that we’ve got is important. We are on the luxury that if we do win all our games we will win the league. So the title is in our own hands so as it is in Mohun Bagan’s hands because obviously we play each other and if they win all their matches they’ll win the league. That’s where the title swung a little bit, now we’re in control and it’s down to ourselves.”
All previous encounters between the two teams have ended in very less margins and Ashley Westwood emphasises the same. “Shillong’s a difficult place to come. Their also a good side coached by a good coach. The game can go either way and we’ve had mix results against them. There are no foregone conclusions in the I-League and nobody can predict the results so we’re not over confident, that’s for sure.”
Lajong’s prolific Trinidad and Tobago striker Cornell Glen will miss tomorrow’s match due to suspension after having picked up four yellow cards but the recent goal scoring form of Brazilian forward Uilliams Souza Silva would not have come at a better time. “Glen’s a top scorer, it’s a great loss but we have Uilliams who has started scoring and of course we have other players who have been scoring goals too. It does make a difference when you don’t have your best striker but it’s a team sport and a chance for other players to really come up and do something for the team.”
Cornell Glen will not be the only first team player missing the match for The Reds as Aibor Khongjee, Robin Gurung, Joseph and Pritam Kumar are also out of the Bengaluru encounter sidelined with injuries. Pritam Kumar was the latest addition to Thangboi Singto’s defensive woes as he was substituted during the Dempo match due to a recurrence in his shoulder injury. Bengaluru FC however have a fully fit squad as strikers Sean Rooney and Sunil Chettri will again make the starting line up after taking separate knocks in their previous match against East Bengal.
Shillong Lajong FC would need all three points to secure safety from the relegation battle as they are in 8th position with 16 points from 15 matches and would be looking to finish the season in a better position. Defending champions Bengaluru FC will look to do themselves a favour in their title charge as they would work for three more points, sitting just a point behind Mohun Bagan in second position with an identical goal difference to their title contenders.