Shillong Lajong FC played out a 1-1 draw against Sporting Club de Goa despite being reduced to ten men in the 50th minute. Trinidad & Tobago duo Cornell Glen and Anthony Wolfe scored a Goal each for Shillong Lajong FC and Sporting Club de Goa respectively.
The match was kicked off by Shillong Lajong FC and they made their intent clear as they pushed forward from the start. Lajong fielded 18 year old Vishal Kaith between the post in place of Rehenesh TP who is on National duty.
Sporting Club de Goa meanwhile got off to a bright start as they took the lead early on after a good combination between Anthony Wolfe and Odafa. The former scored the opening goal in the 4th minute giving a good start for his team. It was a big blow for the visiting team to conceded a goal so early but could have equalised in the 7th minute when Cornell Glen’s shot unfortunately hit the upright. Nevertheless, the home side were enjoying more possession in the opponents half and not allowing Lajong to break on the counter. Odafa and Anthony Wolfe were creating a lot of problems for the Lajong defence. On the other hand, Cornell Glen missed a good opportunity in the 19th minute after dribbling past two defenders but failed to find the back of the net. Boithang had a chance in the 25th minute when he took a free kick from an acute angle but it was headed away to safety. As the match progressed, both teams were lacking in creativity and unable to produce a goal and failing to impress the neutrals. Then towards the end of the first half, in the 42nd minute, Cornell Glen pulled out his trick as he turned the Sporting defenders and equalised for Lajong. The ability by the Lajong striker to score such a goal was quite commendable. The first half ended with one goal apiece for Sporting Club de Goa and Shillong Lajong FC.
The home side began proceedings in the second half. Anthony Wolfe had the first shot on target in the opening minutes of the second half but his shot was saved by Lajong custodian, Vishal. But in the 50th minute, Vishal Kaith misjudged a long ball and handled the ball outside the box. The referee raised the red card against him and Kunzang Bhutia had to come on the field to replace David Ngaihte. Oadafa took a resulting free kick but it went just wide. With one man down, Lajong were finding it difficult to contain possession. Sporting Club de Goa meanwhile was piling the pressure with the advantage of an extra player on the field. However, they failed to kill off the game as they could not find a way through the Lajong defence. Uilliams took a long range free kick in the 59th minute and his shot was on target but Sporting Club de Goa keeper parried it away. Uilliams was later replaced by Zodingliana. Odafa was unlucky not to give his side the lead when he took a shot outside the box which rattled the posts. Durga Boro then replaced Joseph who had to be taken off the field in a stretcher due to an injury.
Then in the 77th minute, Sporting Club de Goa defender, Joyner Lorenco received his second yellow card of the match after a foul on Cornell Glen. Thus, both teams had to play with 10 players each in the final quarter of the match. Substitute, Zodingliana could have given the lead to Lajong if he had controlled the ball well inside the opponent’s box. The final 10 minutes proved to be quite entertaining as both teams knew the next goal could be the winning goal. Cornell Glen had a great chance in the 85th minute when he found a long ball in front of goal but the Goan side’s defence just managed to kick away the ball for a corner. Five minutes were added after normal time and both sides had a lot of opportunities to win the game but could not find the back of the net.
The match ended all square and both teams remain in the bottom of the table after earning only one point each. Sporting Club de Goa will play their next match on the 4th of April against local rivals Dempo while Shillong Lajong FC will travel to Mumbai to play their next match against Mumbai FC on the 3rd of April 2015.