Shillong Lajong Football Club and Salgaocar SC played out a goalless draw in their last league game at the J.N Stadium, Shillong, on Friday, the 4th of May. Both teams had a cautious start to the game, and had equal share of ball possession . It was the home team though who had better chances and had at least two golden opportunities to take the lead.
In what was a controlled display of football by both teams, Shillong Lajong dominated the latter stages of the match. The home team had at least two close chances to go in front. First it was Sushil Kumar who shot wide off the target from a difficult angle, in the 36th minute; and 3 minutes later, Boithang Haokip also missed the target from just outside the box. These two chances appeared to have boosted the home team’s confidence, and spurned on by a vociferous home crowd, continued to troubled the defence of the visitors.
In the second half, Lajong’s coach Pradhyum Reddy took off Lalramluaha and sent in Rennedy Singh. Chidi Edeh, who came on for D’mello, in the 64th minute, looked to have won the game for Salgaocar, when his team was awarded a penalty for a foul inside the box, in the 71st minute. The lanky Nigerian stepped up for the kick, while the crowd watched with bated breath .Their joys knew no bounds when Chidi skied his shot over the crossbar ,to keep the match alive.
Shillong Lajong then made two substitutions in quick succession, as the game appeared to be headed towards a tame draw. Lalhimthara replacing Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Tuboi replacing Boithang Haokip. However when the dust had settled and the 90th minute was over, the game ended as it had begun, with neither teams troubling the back of the net.
Coach Reddy said that, Salgaocar is one of the most difficult team to beat and fortunately, Chidi missed the penalty. He also added that, a draw is a fair result.
While his counterpart, Coach Karim Bencherifa, said that, “We had a good start but Lajong took control of the game in the second half and overall it was an average game”.
The man of the match was awarded to Shillong Lajong FC defender Wailadmi Passah for his brilliant performance.
The stalemate though had everything that it could have asked for, and it could not have ended better for both teams, who ended the season on a draw.