East Bengal and Shillong Lajong shared points today in the 9th round of the Hero I-League after playing a 1-1 draw at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri.
Samuel Lalmuanpuia gave Shillong Lajong the lead in the 20th minute of the match. This was the second I-League goal for the teenager, the first one he scored was last year at home against Aizawl FC. This lead however was cancelled out by Willis Plaza in the 45th minute and levelled the scoreline 1-1. The hero of the match was awarded to Lajong goalkeeper Vishal Kaith for his brilliant saves in today’s game.
Lajong put a brave display today away from home against table toppers Kingfisher East Bengal. The Reds had many chances to create an upset today but could not capitalise on those golden opportunities. Kingfisher East Bengal had good chances of their own too but were denied by youngster Vishal Kaith between the posts.
The first goal of the match was scored by Samuel Lalmuanpuia after Dipanda Dicka found Bipin with space on the left wing, who then crossed the ball to an unmarked Samuel Lalmuanpuia for a header towards the bottom left corner. Lajong could have doubled the lead when Dipanda tried to beat the keeper with a header but the ball was tipped over the bar by the Keeper.
East Bengal finally equalised in the 45th minute of the first half through Willis Plaza’s header from a Narayan Das cross on the left.
The second half saw a lot of chances for both teams but lacked the clinical finish to impact the score line.
East Bengal could have taken the lead in the 56th minute through an own goal after Willis Plaza troubled the defence as his attempted shot deflected high towards goal but Vishal Kaith ran back to his line to tip the ball over for a corner.
In the 62nd minute of the game, Lajong came very close to regain their lead when Fabio Pena took a shot at goal from 18 yards out but East Bengal custodian dived to block his shot from entering the back of the net.
In the end, both teams defended well not to concede another a last minute goal in the second half and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
With this draw, East Bengal remains at the top of the table with 21 points from 9 matches while Shillong Lajong are on 13 points now from 9 matches played and remain on 4th position.
Lajong will now travel to Chennai to play against Chennai City on the 19th of February 2017.