Tag: Phurba Tempa Lachenpa

I-League 2017/18: Subash Singh’s late winner gives Neroca full points against Lajong

SHILLONG: Subash Singh did the star turn for Neroca FC as his late goal proved decisive in his team’s 1-0 win over Shillong Lajong FC in an I-League 2017/18 encounter played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Saturday.

The all-important goal came in the 83rd minute, which ultimately turned out to be the match winner and helped Neroca move to third place in standings with 10 points from five matches.

Meanwhile, Lajong, who suffered their first home defeat of the season, slipped to fourth place with 10 points from six matches.

Both teams battled it out for midfield dominance and ball possession in the opening 10 minutes, but both goalkeepers Phurba Tempa Lachenpa and Lalit Thapa went untested.

The visitors produced a quick counter attack in the 13th minute and Felix Chidi was denied by Phurba on the left post, as the young shot-stopper parried the ball for a corner.

Five minutes later, Lajong were awarded two set pieces as Varney Kallon fouled Redeem Tlang twice in quick succession, but the hosts could not beat Thapa who collected the deliveries.

Neroca improved their attack after the 25th minute mark, and Israilov Akhlidin was fouled on the edge of the box, but the set piece was cleared by Laurence Doe.

However, a return ball fell for Subash, whose glancing header went over the crossbar failing to beat Phurba on his left corner.

With eight minutes to go before the interval, Lajong almost claimed the lead when skipper Samuel Lalmuanpuia unleashed a long range shot at goal, but he was denied by Thapa, who was alert to guide his attempt wide of goal.

An end-to-end half, though, failed to produce no goals as the two teams headed for the tunnel with the game deadlocked at 0-0.

Lajong played their usual enterprising football after the restart and they nearly broke the deadlock five minutes into the second-half though Lalmuanpuia.

A good move involving Hardy Cliff Nongbri and Lalmuanpuia nearly resulted in a goal as the later fired narrowly wide of the target.

Lajong Head Coach Bobby Nongbet introduced Ivorian forward Abdoulaye Koffi in the 65th minute as the hosts searched for a breakthrough.

However, it was Neroca who grabbed a late winner in the 83rd minute through Subash after Lajong had failed to clear their lines.

Following a number of failed attacks to break down the Lajong defense, Subash scored against his former side with a powerful header from a brilliant cross delivered by substitute Pritam Singh in the penalty area.

Neroca then contained Lajong in the latter stages of the game, and ultimately, they ran out 1-0 winners.

Lajong will travel to nation’s capital to take on Indian Arrows next on the boxing day, while Neroca would host East Bengal on December 30.

Up-close with Lajong custodian Phurba Tempa Lachenpa

SHILLONG: Shillong Lajong has always produced creative set of football over the years in I-League. The mountainous side in-builded some cracking talents and from here Indian football took up a different improvising look.

Shilong Lajong began the new campaign in the I-League brightly after winning their first two home games. But then find themselves thrashed by East Bengal in the first away fixture of the 2017/18 campaign. In for a turn back sequence, they carried on their excellency by sharing a point against mighty Mohun Bagan and then winning the mountainous derby against Aizawl FC, the rivals who previously carried a descent record in this clash.

Here our correspondent Moinak Banerjee caught up with Lajong’s talented goalkeeper Phurba Tempa Lachenpa, who started from the club’s academy and went on to wear the No 1 shirt this season, about the current proclamation they did in the league so far.

IndiaFooty: First of all Congratulations! Lachenpa! To you and your team for an excellent performance against Aizawl in the mountainous derby. Tell us how significant this victory was for your team?

Lachenpa: Thank you very much! For us this was an important victory as with this victory we are in top two in the table and it’s always great to win away from home and that’s also in a derby so we are glad that we got an important three points. Last year we lost the derby away to Aizawl so this was a great win for us.

IndiaFooty: Also you snatched a point out of a strengthened Mohun Bagan side and now a win against the Champions. What are these events declare about Shillong’s target in the new campaign?

Lachenpa: We are taking one game each by keeping the team’s goals to finish as good position as we can, but it’s too soon to tell but obviously we have dreams and it’s obviously the best after the league is over.

IndiaFooty: Was that defeat to East Bengal was sort of a turning point for you all? To gear up for rest of the games?

Lachenpa: We don’t think it was a turning point it’s just that we had a bad game and I-League is a competitive league so obviously some results are bound to go that way.

IndiaFooty: Last season Vishal Keith played a prominent role in between the sticks. Now he is playing for ISL. How do you feel to wear that jersey and as a contributor of your role?

Lachenpa: The club and the coach believed in me so there was no reason to take any pressure, I just had to play my natural game and I’m doing that and I have a long way to go ahead.

IndiaFooty: Some of the main players in Lajong’s squad departed either for ISL or chose playing for heavyweights in the I-League. How you all cope up with all of this for the preparation of this campaign? Was it a blessing for young starlets to shine on big stage?

Lachenpa: The club has one of the best youth setups in India and we as a player believed in the management and every year there are player coming out from academy and each player know each other well so there is nothing much to cope and talking about opportunity for young players Lajong has always given opportunity to young players, you can take for last few seasons we were the youngest squad so opportunity it’s always there for young players in Lajong whatever the circumstances are in Indian football.

IndiaFooty: Thank you Lachenpa it’s been a pleasure to converse with you in this delirious interview. Last of all, what do you want to exclaim about the state of Indian football?

Lachenpa: It’s my pleasure and as a player and football fan we just want best for the Indian football.

I-League 2017/18: Alan Deory leads the way as Lajong edge past Gokulam

SHILLONG: Shillong Lajong FC edged past debutantes Gokulam Kerala FC 1-0 to open their I-League 2017/18 campaign on Monday evening. It was an hard-fought win for the Reds thanks to a 78th minute goal from Alan Deory at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The game was largely a snore fest‚ punctuated by weak crosses and loss of possession. The cold weather in Shillong meant the game was never going to be able to demand a decent tempo and so most of the passing and movement was at pedestrian pace.

Lajong started well, putting early pressure on the Gokulam defense. It resulted in a few good goal scoring opportunities for the home side. Gokulam custodian Nikhil Barnard, however, was in brilliant form, blocking numerous shots at goal from ending up in the back of the net.

Gokulam, on the other hand, slowly got more into the game, having some good combinations going forward during the second part of the first half.

The Bino George-coached side had the experience of Sushanth Mathew in midfield but their problems remain upfront where the final touch is increasingly hurried or ill thought.

Ivorian striker Bayi Kamo Stephane was guilty of over elaboration while Lelo Blaise Mbele did not take shots when he could.

Lajong‚ for their part‚ circulated the ball into an almost comatose state but when they went forward easily lost possession.

Hardy Cliff Nongbri tried to liven up matters with a long range shot in the 37th minute when he spotted Nikhil off his line but his effort was off target.

Gokulam’s only real chance of the first half came when Khaled Alsaleh’s free kick forced Lajong keeper Phurba Tempa Lachenpa to make a flamboyant save.

The Malabar-based side went narrowly close through Kamo shortly after the break but Deory’s goal was the only significant event of the second half.

Deory’s persistence was a big part of the goal with Samuel Lalmuanpuia assisting and Provat Lakra failing to clear and Deory picking up the loose ball to head it home in the 78th minute.

From there on, the game was basically done. Gokulam’s spirit looked a bit broken after the goal, as the side didn’t create too much in the sense of goal scoring chances during the latter stages of the match.

Lajong will host Churchill Brothers next on December 4 while Gokulam play Chennai City FC in the Southern Derby a couple of days later.