In their final game of the year, Shillong Lajong FC were handed with another disappointing away loss as they went down 3-0 to Indian Arrows in an I-League game at the Dr Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi today.
Jeetendra Singh scored the first goal for the Arrows in the first half and Nongdamba and Rahul KP scored in the final few minutes of the game to make it 3-0 for the hosts.
Lajong made one change in the starting line-up as Ivory Coast international Abdoulaye Koffi started in place of Redeem Tlang. The Reds didn’t have a fruitful start to the game as they rarely had the ball in their feet. The defence had to be strong enough to deal with a string of corners in the first 10 minutes. At the 16th minute mark, Samuel found Koffi in the box who had a clear shot on goal just to have saved by the Arrows keeper.
It was in the 19th minute when the Arrows took the lead in the game. The Lajong defence was slow to react to a freekick which saw Rahim Ali put in a low cross for Jeetendra who made no mistake to tap in the ball beyond Phurba to put Lajong behind.
Lajong then were trying to attack more to come back in the game but the attacks from the wings were not producing anything productive. The first half didn’t see much of an action apart from a header by Koffi from Hardy’s freekick which was easily collected by the Arrows keeper. The Reds trailed 1-0 at the end of first half.
To fight back in the game, Lajong made a change at the beginning of the second half as Lalrohlua came in to replace captain Samuel Lalmuanpuia. Lajong looked a completely different side in the half as they were enjoying more of the possession and were not afraid to attack.
The visiting team had a few back to back chances from setpieces but failed to capitalize as the deliveries lacked the quality to threaten the young defence of the hosts. Lajong were handed a real setback when Lalrohlua was twice found guilty of rough play in the span of four minutes and was sent off by the referee.
The introduction of Redeem saw some flow in the attacking half but the team failed to create any real chance. Lajong even with a man down were creating quite a few chances but there was not anything productive in the end. In the 78th minute, Aiman’s through ball found the feet of Kynsai inside the box but his shot went way wide of the opposition goal.
Goalkeeper Phurba too had to be at his best to keep the Indian Arrows from doubling their lead, but it was in the 86th minute when Nongdamba Naorem danced past 5 Lajong players with ease and had a clear shot at the goal which the keeper failed to save. Aiman on the other end tried a similar move to close the deficit but the forward’s shot was easily saved by the keeper.
It was in the additional minutes of the second half when Rahul KP took advantage of a tiring Lajong defence and shot one from the edge of the box to beat Phurba at his near post and made the lead 3-0. Phurba was again brought amidst action in the dying seconds of the game when Rahul had another go from distance, but Phurba this time was at his best to keep the score limited to 3-0 at the referee’s final whistle.
Shillong Lajong will host Chennai City FC in their next game which is scheduled on 5th January 2018 at the JN Stadium Shillong at 5:30 PM.