Shillong Lajong FC came from behind to hold the Mariners to a much deserved and stupendous 2-2 draw in the 22nd round of the I-League which was played out at the Kalyani Stadium on Thursday. It was a brilliant display of football by the visiting Reds ,who came from behind twice in the match to have a share of the spoils.
Mohun Bagan started off as the better side but more opportunities came Lajong’s way and were the dominant side as they came out looking to turn things around.
The host could have taken the lead in the 26th minute but were unlucky when Nabi’s header went to the far post courtesy a Nirmal Chettri cross.
In the 28th minute Minchol Son missed a free header from a corner kick taken by Eugeneson Lyngdoh and 8 minutes later Lajong missed another chance when Edinho Junior’s header was saved by Mohun Bagan custodian Shilton Paul as he flicked the ball over the bar.
Just before half time Lajong could have broken the deadlock when Sushil Singh brilliantly set up Taisuke Matsugae but failed to convert the chance as his shot went wide.
It was a half that was competitive, yet lacking when it came to producing goals and as a result both the sides went into the break all square.
Crossing over, the second half was much better, as both teams pushed to break the deadlock in an attempt to grab the all important three points.
The match came to life when Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey took a shot in the 51st minute to give Mohun Bagan the lead which was assisted by Sabeeth.
However, one minute later, Boithang Haokip cancelled Mohun Bagan’s lead beating Bagan custodian Shilton Paul, with a scintillating curler, which could be one of the season’s most memorable goals. The goal was truly a peach of a curler from the Mainpuri, who has added yet another wonderful in his goal-scoring cap.
The Mariners took the lead once again when Manish Maithani took the ball home in the 61st minute.
Shillong Lajong pushed for the elusive leveller and their efforts paid off when a Boithang Haokip cross found substitute PC Lalhlimthara in the 79th minute to make it 2-2. Lalhimthara yet again delivered when his team needed him the most,beating Shilton at the near post.
With this draw, Mohun Bagan are in the bottom place with 10 points while Shillong Lajong are in the 10th position with 21 points.
(Picture Courtesy: AIFF Media)