The much awaited North East Derby of the Hero I-League 2015-16, is all set to take centre stage on the 13th of February at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl at 2pm. The Match is scheduled to be broadcasted live on Ten Action.
The Reds went through a major setback in Kolkata last Tuesday. The Mighty Kolkata Giants, Kingfisher East Bengal got the better of the Youthful Lajong Squad with a score line of 4-0. The other major upset was young Central Defender Sana Singh being Red Carded in the Match and to add to that, skipper Aiborlang Khongjee suffered an injury during the match.
Lajong Head Coach Thangboi Singto will now need to focus on a stronger replacement for Sana at the heart of the Lajong Defence as well as fill in the gap for Aiborlang Khongjee if the team doctors do not declare him fit for tomorrow’s match.
Lajong’s problem has been conceding goals against the run of play and the lack of goals scored in the matches played so far. The team has managed to score only two goals thus far and hence the two Brazilian strike force duos; Uilliams Bomfim Souza and Fabio Pena Henrique need to pull up their socks and get Goals to help the team to win matches.
The team is also missing the presence of its star Midfielder Zodingliana aka Adinga who returned to Lajong from the ISL Team Delhi Dynamos with an injury and is still undergoing treatment. Right back Robin Gurung also suffered an injury in Lajong’s previous home game and the final word is yet to be confirmed by the Lajong Medical Staff for his return to tomorrow’s clash. Rupert Nongrum on the other hand is absent from the squad due to his College Exams which he has to appear.
Thangboi Singto may not have plenty of options available with him to fill in those crucial gaps to form a strong squad for tomorrow’s match. However, the gaffer will make use of the options from the bench and in all likely bring youngsters like Nim Dorjee Tamang to the starting 11 including Aiban Kupar Dohling who might get to make his debut in the team.
Lajong’s two experienced players; Penn Orji and Boithang Haokip will need to play crucial roles in Midfield and supply good balls to the strikers upfront. The team will need to perform collectively as a Strong Unit in tomorrow’s match and finish the opportunities that comes their way as Aizawl FC will have a strong Fan Support in their ground and the I-League newbies are expected to give a good fight to Thangboi’s Squad.
The Lajong Gaffer, Thangboi Singto said, ”We need to come back strongly against Aizawl FC. The plan is to not concede early and silly goals. The strikers need to convert the chances created in the match.”
“Aizawl FC has a new coach and the team plays good football so it will be a challenging North East Derby”, he concluded.
Meanwhile, Aizawl FC recently parted ways with their Spanish Head Coach, have appointed a new coach Jahar Das and will play their sixth match of the I-League in Aizawl on Saturday.
The Mizoram side currently have only three foreigners and are looking to sign their fourth in the coming weeks. The debutants are also interested in signing young players who will suit their style of play.
Aizawl FC have managed to win only one match so far, drew against bottom team Salgaocar FC 1-1 and have lost four matches against East Bengal, Sporting Clube De Goa, Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan. The Mizoram based outfit are currently in the 7th position with 4 points.
Alfred Jaryan, Yuta Kinowaki and R Malsawmtluanga provided the goals for Aizawl. The host will look to bank on home advantage and hope their new coach brings luck to the team.
Lajong on the other hand, will surely put up a big fight and work hard towards grabbing the three points which will be up for grabs tomorrow as a win will take the Reds to fourth place in the table.
Tomorrow’s North East Derby promises to be an entertaining I-League Encounter at 2pm, Rajiv Gandhi Stadium Aizawl. The Shillong Lajong fans can watch it live on Ten Action.