Shillong Lajong Football Club got the better of United Sikkim FC with a 2-1 win in the second North East Derby, Round 19 of the I-League which was played at the JN Stadium Shillong on Saturday.
The Reds started brightly and enjoyed most of the early possession right from the word go and could have taken the lead in the very first minute but were unlucky when their first attempt on goal hit the bar.
The host had plenty of chances coming their way but were unfortunate not to find the back of the net despite an array of quality football displayed.
As the game went on Nathan Hall’s men started to enjoy most of the possession and found their feet but failed to create clear-cut chances.
The Men in Blue could have taken the lead as they came close in several occasions but Lajong’s wall did well to stop Sikkim’s attempt including some brilliant keeping done by Lajong custodian Lalthuanmawia Ralte.
The first half was no doubt very competitive but both sides went into the break all square.
After the lemon break both teams pushed to break the deadlock in an attempt to grab all three crucial points.
Lajong made a couple of changes in the second half as Coach Thangboi Singto brought in P.C.Lalhlimthara for Jibon Singh in the 74th minute and Samson came in for Lalramluaha in the 80th minute.
While United Sikkim brought in Zenith for Thupden Bhutia in the 52nd minute and Nadong came in for Linekar in the 89th minute.
The visitors fashioned their best chance and surged ahead when Linekar Machado tapped in Ashish Chettri’s cross in the 67th minute.
But “The never say die spirit” of the boys in “Red” was visible on the pitch as they started pressing hard to find the much needed equaliser.
The hard work finally paid off when substitute P.C.Lalhlimthara found the back of the net which was assisted by Sho Kammimura and levelled the score in the 81st minute.
Lajong’s last win was against Pailan Arrows on November 28th last year at home and what looked like a draw as the match headed towards stoppage time, the home team surprised the 6000 odd crowd at the JN Stadium and this time it was Japanese striker Taisuke Matsugae who made no mistake to score the winning goal for Shillong Lajong FC in the 90+2 minute.
With this win Shillong Lajong FC is in the 10th position with 19 points while United Sikkim FC are in the 13th position with 12 points.
Taisuke Matsugae was awarded the Man of the Match for his stunning performance today against United Sikkim FC.