Shillong Lajong FC will host Goan side Sporting Club De Goa in their 18th Hero I-League match of the season on 20th May,2015 at the J.N.Stadium, Shillong at 4:30PM IST. The match will turn out to be a very crucial encounter given the fact that both teams are subject of a relegation tussle.
Shillong Lajong FC still mathematically in threat of relegation have done themselves a huge favour in their recent performances with match winning efforts from strikers Uilliams Souza Silva and Cornel Glen. The home side are unbeaten in three home games including a 3-0 drubbing over Dempo FC, a comprehensive 1-1 draw against Champions Bengaluru FC and an attacking display of sheer quality in their most recent 3-1 victory over direct entrants Bharat FC. Cornell Glen who has netted 13 goals all season was at his best against the I-League debutants from Pune, with a brilliant second half hat trick that gave his side the much needed breathing space from other relegation battlers. The former world cupper is currently the second highest goal scorer in the league with 13 goals from 16 match appearances, just three goals shy of top scorer Ranti Martins.
The visiting Goan side though have made similar improvements given their poor start to the season that saw them at the bottom of the table for most parts of the campaign. After the 3-1 defeat at Bengaluru FC in late march, Mateus Costa’s side have notched up a 6 game unbeaten streak with impressive wins against Bharat FC and title contenders Mohun Bagan. Mateus Costa speaking at a pre match press conference here said, “Every match is important and tomorrow is much more important. What we have done in the past is history now. We are more focused on tomorrow’s game”.
Consistency though is Thangboi Singto’s main concern going into the match against the 6 game unbeaten Sporting Club De Goa side. Three matches unbeaten would have spell some consistency but the Lajong coach is looking for more, “We have to look to tomorrow because the way Sporting has been playing recently and because Odafa has come back strongly, it’s going to be difficult for us. Apart from that they have an overall good team. As stated before we have to perform consistently at the best of our abilities and if we do that we will have a good game tomorrow.”
The visiting side will be without defenders Chinta Rao and Sandesh Jhingan but the calming personality of Portugese defender Miguel Garcia would not give Mateus Costa much of a problem. The Reds are also missing defensive reinforcements as club captain Aibor Khongjee is still out, Pritam Kumar is again ruled out for the season, Seimenlen Doungel is doubtful for tomorrow’s match but full back Robin Gurung who was on the bench in their last game against Bharat FC might get a start in tomorrow’s match.
Lajong are sitting pretty in 6th position with 20 points from 17 games and Sporting Club De Goa have 17 points from as many games. A win for The Reds would ensure safety and also better their position in the I-League standings.