I-League 2017/18: Lajong confident ahead of Neroca tie

Shillong: Shillong Lajong FC is back in town after three consecutive away games and are all set for the second North East derby of the season where they host debutante Neroca FC. The match kicks off at 2 PM at the JN Stadium in Shillong on 23rd December 2017.

After two home wins in the first two fixtures, Lajong travelled to Kolkata where they lost to East Bengal but secured a point after playing a 1-1 draw against Mohun Bagan and then they had a convincing victory in Aizawl making it four points from three crucial away fixtures. The Reds now sit in the second position with 10 points from 5 games.

Redeem Tlang, Samuel Kynshi and Samuel Lalmuanpuia have found the back of the net this season and the striking force of The Reds will leave no stone unturned to grab the three points in tomorrow’s fixture.

Goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa has kept three clean sheets so far (vs Gokulam, vs Churchill, vs Aizawl) and has done a decent job in between the sticks in his debut season for Lajong. He is also well supported by the defensive duo of Juho Oh and Lawrence Doe. Daniel Odafin and Hardy Cliff Nongbri have been outstanding commanding the midfield.

Shillong Lajong Head Coach Bobby Nongbet said, “We are very happy for the points we got against Mohun Bagan, which was the first point we collected in our away match and that has put the team together and we decided to work harder and got three points in Aizawl. We performed really well and we deserved those three points in Aizawl.”

“We are going to work harder and press harder for tomorrow’s win and ensure we get those three points at home”, he added.

Neroca were promoted to the I-League this season after winning the second tier.

The Imphal based club made their I-League debut against Minerva Punjab but lost their first game by 2-1 on 1st December. They won their first away game of the season against Gokulam by 2-0 on 9th December and registered their first win at home against Chennai City with the score line of 2-1 on 15th December.

The Orange brigade is coming into this match after playing a goalless draw against Mohun Bagan in Kolkta. They have collected 7 points in total and currently is in the fifth position.

The debutants have a combination of youth as well as experienced players in their ranks. They will be depending on their experienced captain, goalkeeper Lalit Thapa including Subhash Singh, Sushil Kumar Singh, Felix Odili Chidi and others.

Felix Odili Chidi and Ronald Singh have scored two goals each for the Manipur outfit. While Ningthoujam Pritam Singh and Varney K Kallon have scored once goal each for their team.

Neroca FC Head Coach Gift Raikhan was present at the pre-match press conference today and said, “We are excited and hope everybody enjoys the game tomorrow.”

“We have full squad no yellow or red card.”

“Lajong is playing very well and we are also very confident for tomorrow’s game. We have to play well and do not want to be in the danger zone”, he concluded.

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