Preview: AFC v Lajong
Shillong Lajong FC will play their third away game in the Hero I-League 2016/17 Season when they face off Aizawl FC in the highly anticipated North East Derby to be held at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on 17th January at 1:30PM. The match will telecast live on Ten 2.
A quick recap to last season when the two teams met, it was a goalless draw when Aizawl hosted Lajong but in the second leg encounter, Lajong earned three points by winning the thrilling encounter 3-1 at home.
Shillong Lajong is coming into this new fixture after losing against Mohun Bagan. Thangboi made two changes to the line up in the last game. He brought on Cameroonian striker, Dicka to the starting eleven and included Zodingliana in central midfield.
Although Singto’s side played an entertaining game against the Kolkata outfit, their conversions of chances into goals was not on point and the defence failed to stop Mariners frontman, Darryl Duffy. The young team dominated possession in the match but the attempts on goal were not clinical enough.
However, it was evident in the last match that Singto’s boys combined exceptionally well with each other compared to the first outing against defending champions Bengaluru FC. The Reds were eager to score goals on many occasions but luck was not on their side. Here on, the gaffer would expect his strike force to give a much higher contribution and also be on target. Lajong has to pick up the away point in order to better their standings on the table before they come back Shillong to play five back to back home matches.
Speaking about tomorrow’s game, Thangboi Singto said, “Aizawl FC has a very experienced coach who knows the I-League in and out. They are a strong team at home and it will be a tough game on Tuesday.
We need good solid defending and also have to utilise the chances we create at goal. The aim is to get points on board, a win is a must.”
Meanwhile, Aizawl FC had a good start to the I-League 2016/17 season. They drew and earned one point from their first game against East Bengal FC on January 7 in Kolkata thanks to an own goal by Gurwinder Singh. They won their second game at home against Minerva Punjab by 1-0 to take their points tally to four from two matches.
Their new coach Khalid Jamil has rebuilt the squad with fresh faces and kept himself busy during the transfer window. He brought on Albino Gomes as the new first choice goalkeeper, Lalruatthara, Ashutosh Mehta, Jayesh Rane, Nigerian Defender – Kingsley and former Syrian international – Mahmoud Amnah.
The new Aizawl FC manager has previously stated that his main objective is to keep his team away from the relegation zone. In the pre-match press conference held in Aizawl on Monday he said, “Shillong Lajong is a good opponent, it will be a tough game. We will try our best to earn three points.”
Shillong Lajong FC will look to go all out for the win and fight hard to earn their first points from the North East Derby in Aizawl tomorrow.
The game will kick off at 1:30PM with a live telecast on Ten 2.