Shillong Lajong FC will take on Mumbai FC in the 2nd round of the Hero I-League on the 25th of January, Sunday at the J.N.Stadium, Shillong at 4:30PM IST. Key players for Lajong will be looking to make their first starts for The Reds in this fixture.
Lajong as well as Mumbai FC suffered defeats in their first matches against Royal Wahingdoh FC and Mohun Bagan AC respectively but both teams will look to reverse the results this time around.
The hosts will be boosted by the return of their foreign players including last season’s tied top scorer in the I-League, Cornell Glen, Brazilian striker Uilliams Souza and new signing, Nigerian midfielder Penn Orji.
Shillong Lajong head coach Thangboi Singto who was present at a pre-match press conference said, “Glen came on as substitute last match as well but with the addition of Uilliams and Penn, we all know that good quality foreigners tend to always make a difference. So we are very happy to have them back”. When asked about the previous loss to city rivals Royal Wahingdoh FC Thangboi replied, “That game is gone now, we start thinking fresh, we start thinking new and with the foreigners and Aibor Khongjee coming back we will have more quality and experience in the next match”.Lajong Club captain Aibor Khongjee was not available for Lajong’s first match as he was nursing a rib injury.
Lajong have a better head to head record against Mumbai FC and Mumbai coach Khalid Jamil re-established the difficulty of playing in Shillong and against Shillong Lajong FC.
He added, “Playing in Shillong is very difficult and playing against Thangboi’s team is even more difficult. I don’t like playing here because they play well at their home ground and the weather here is too cold. So tomorrow we have to fight hard to overcome these difficulties.”
The visitors did not have a good season last year and after much examination, their frailties seem to lie in their lack of a strong attack. Their luck has not quite caught up this time around as new signing Josimar Da Silva who was identified as the man to solve the problem up front might be ruled out for the match against Shillong Lajong. Khalid Jamil added, “3-4 players are injured and I don’t know if they will start or not. Josimar is doubtful too.”
The Reds will look to get their season up and running with a victory against Mumbai FC, come this Sunday as they hope to put their disappointing start behind them.