Tag: Shillong Lajong FC

I-League 2017/18: Gokulam will have their work cut out against Lajong

KOZHIKODE: Struggling Gokulam Kerala FC will have their work cut out when they host Shillong Lajong FC in I-League 2017/18 at Kozhikode tomorrow.

After succumbing to five consecutive defeats, the Yellow outfit finally found some respite having clinched a crucial victory against Chennai City FC in their last away fixture. Bino Geroge’s boys haven’t gone through a merrier ride at their home until now where they’ve earned only a point in six outings.

“Win is very important for us in next match against Lajong to increase our chances of finishing in top four”, coach Bino Geroge cleared where his team’s focus is at.

Meanwhile, the coach said that his team is ‘confident’ now, all thanks to the late inclusion of Musa.

“Team is confident now. Our midfield general Musa brought some stability to the team. It was a different strategy from us against Chennai City and we got the result.”

Bino George showed utter respect for Lajong who humbled their Northeastern rival Neroca FC in their last outing, that too at their den Khuman Lampak Stadium, having halted their sublime nine-game unbeaten run.

“Shillong is a good team with good players, but a win is a must for us tomorrow”, Bino George expressed that his team won’t compromise on anything less than all three points tomorrow.

On the other hand, Shillong asst. coach Alison Kharsyntiew is getting a big intrigued because of the hot and humid weather of Kozhikode compared to Shillong.

“The weather is a bit different compared to Shillong. But that’s the beauty of league. We have to adapt to that quickly. I think our boys are prepared for the match against Gokulam Kerala FC. It’ll surely a tough match for us.”

Although Lajong have gotten the better of Neroca FC in their last outing, gaffer admitted that the Reds are not consistent in the league and they’ve to get the mojo back to climb up the ladder.

“We are not consistent. We need to work hard on that. There’s no rocket science behind that. We have to pull up our socks and push ourselves more in the training sessions to rectify the mistakes.”

Lajong’s average age is quite below and the Meghalaya-based team heavily bank on the youngsters. Alison exuded that these boys have a long way to go and they need encouragement to scale a newer height.

“We are a junior team and sometimes, we fall short of experience. We need to improve, put more effort in the training sessions. These guys need to be encouraged.”

Koffi, the attacking spearhead is back in goals and Alison didn’t mince his words praising the striker.

“Koffi is back and he’s getting into the groove. It has helped the team a lot. Samuel is also back from an injury now. He has to shoulder a major share of responsibility tomorrow.”

I-League 2017/18: Lajong ready for leaders Minerva

Shillong 13th January: Shillong Lajong FC had a good start to the New Year managing four points from the two home matches and will now face the challenge of table toppers Minerva Punjab FC on Sunday 14th January at the JN Stadium Shillong at 2:00 PM.

The tickets for the match will be available at the SSA Stadium Ticket Counter in Polo Ground on Sunday.

In their last two matches at home, Lajong played a goalless draw against Chennai City FC followed by a 1-0 win over the AIFF developmental side Indian Arrows which saw the best of the Reds this season dominating the game throughout the 90 minutes.

The match saw Lajong dictating the tempo of the game and having plenty of chances up front only to see the Arrows keeper and woodwork deny them. It was Abdoulaye Koffi who scored the sole goal of the match to keep home the three points. Lajong now firmly sits at 4th place with fourteen points from nine games.

The last time Shillong Lajong hosted the Punjab side at home was on 21st January 2017 and the result was in favour of the Reds with a score line of 2-1. Lajong players and coaches have been working hard on training and are all set to collect maximum points from Sunday’s fixture.

Speaking about the match Lajong coach Bobby Nongbet said, “We will definitely be very happy to get three points on Sunday that too at our home, we are going to play an attacking game and I believe we will win the game.”

The Reds missed the services of their ever-reliable defensive duo of Juho and Laurence in the last match. Both the players have fought their injuries and will likely be available for Sunday’s game. The coach will have a tough time while making his choice as the Academy products; Kynsai, Novin, Kenstar, Rakesh and Allen Lyngdoh were brilliant at the back to keep the Arrows attack shut in the last match.

Lajong is aware of the threat the visitors possess in terms of their attacking game play. Bobby said, “Minerva is playing consistently well, and Chencho and William are performing very well. But, Chencho will be the one for whom we have to be very careful.”

“We had a different game plan for Arrows as they were very fast, and we have seen Minerva play and accordingly, we have a plan for Sunday’s game” he added.

Minerva Punjab, on the other hand, has surprised everyone as they are sitting at the top of the I-league table with 19 points from 8 matches.

In their last fixture, they managed to defeat Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan 2-1 courtesy Chencho scoring a brace.
Coach Khogen Singh said, “The team is high in morale and I am trying to keep up with this morale. The match is going to be tight, we plan to fight well. Psychologically, the boys are very tough.”

Speaking of the hosts he added, “It is going to be tough because Lajong is one of the good teams from the North East and for a couple years, they have been maintaining their performance, it is also their home game.”

Shillong Lajong would like to continue their winning form going against Minerva Punjab, who are emerging title contenders this season, but Lajong is not far behind and the team is determined to go all out for the win on Sunday.

I-League 2017/18: Lajong fire Arrow on target

SHILLONG: Abdoulaye Koffi scored the late winner as Shillong Lajong edged past Indian Arrows 1-0 in an I-League 2017/18 clash at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Monday evening.

It was a much needed win for the hosts after going three matches without a victory in the league.

Following their norrow win, Lajong moved up to fourth place in the standings with 14 points 9 games while Arrows remained on eighth place with 7 points from as many games.

Lajong started brightly and as early as the 5th minute they put together a flowing passing move which ended with Koffi shooting just wide of Arrows keeper Prabhsukhan Singh Gill’s left-hand upright.

Six minutes later, the hosts threatened again, as another fine team move ended with skipper Samuel Lalmuanpuia firing a shot just over the target.

After Lajong’s early chances, Arrows gradually settled into the match and began creating attacking opportunities of their own.

Their most notable arrived in the 26th minute when Amarjit Singh released Naorem Roshan Singh with a perfect defense-splitting pass, the winger controlled the ball well to beat his marker before laying the ball to striker Edmund Lalrindika, who was blocked by Daniel Odafin just when he was about to pull the trigger.

Meanwhile, Lajong continued to stretch the Arrows defense and they were awarded a penalty in the 36th minute when Deepak Tangri handled the ball inside the box, but Lalmuanpuia could not convert the penalty.

Thereafter, Lajong enjoyed a good spell of attacking football going into the half-time break but the Arrows defense was tactically sound and resolute on open play and held their lines well as the half ended goalless.

Lajong  commenced the second-half like a house on fire, and Lalmuanpuia came within inches of opening the scoring nine minutes after the break, but he was unlucky to see his attempt from a free-kick canon off the frame with Prabhsukhan well beaten.

Five minutes later, Abhijit Sarkar went close for Luis Norton de Matos’ troops on the other side of the pitch, but the striker’s powerful effort whistled inches wide of goal.

While Lajong continued to terrorize the Arrows defense, the visitors ran out of steam as the second half wore on, with their midfield struggling to reassert the control they enjoyed in the first stanza, though they remained a dangerous prospect on the counter.

Having missed some half chances, the hosts duly found the breakthrough in the 80th minute as Koffi slotted home from inside the box.

Arrows, towards the end, threw numbers forward in search of an equalizer, but they were unable to bypass the Lajong defense and the hosts sealed all three points.

I-League 2017/18: Lajong ready to welcome Chennai City

Shillong: Shillong Lajong will begin their New Year I-League campaign at home against Chennai City FC on 5th January at the JN Stadium Shillong at 5:30 PM.

Lajong are hoping to start the year 2018 on a positive note as their last two outings at the end of 2017 were disappointing. They lost to Neroca FC at home and Indian Arrows away in Delhi by 1-0 and 3-0 respectively.

Shillong Lajong has played 7 matches in total and is currently in the 6th position with 10 points.

The last time Shillong Lajong and Chennai City met in Shillong was on 31st January in 2017 and Lajong won this game with a convincing 2-0 margin. Lajong will look to maintain their home winning record against Chennai City and for the same, they will be depending heavily on the services of their young skipper, Samuel Lalmuanpuia who has netted two goals and local lad, Redeem Tlang who has also found the net twice so far. The Reds will be hoping their foreign strikers; Aiman Al Hagri and Abdolaye Koffi also find the scoring touch in the coming matches.

Shillong Lajong Coach Bobby Nongbet said, “We are looking forward for three points desperately in this game against Chennai City who has been doing very well in the last few games especially after beating Mohun Bagan.”
“We understand that the game is not going to be easy but we know that we have to work very hard to gain those three points. We are determined and the team would be different altogether and much stronger in 2018.”

Chennai City has played seven matches so far and is in the 8th position with 7 points in the I-League standings.
They lost their first match of the I-League against the Indian Arrows by three goals to nil, drew 1-1 against Gokulam Kerala, lost their third and fourth game to Minerva Punjab and Neroca FC with the same score line, 2-1.

The Chennai outfit then grabbed their first victory of the season against Churchill Brothers in Goa by two goals to nil, faced another defeat in their following game at the hands of East Bengal FC, the score line was 2-1.
They created a huge upset in Kolkata on 2nd January 2018, when beat Mohun Bagan by 2-1. Jean-Michael Joachim and Veniamin Shumeiko provided the goals for Chennai last night.

The Southerners will be relying on Jean Michael Joachim who has been in superb form netting five goals so far from 7 games.

In the pre-match press conference that was held today, Soundararajan said, “I was really happy with the performance of the players in our last match against Mohun Bagan. After beating Mohun Bagan we don’t want to lose a match now.”

“We are ready to take up the challenge even though we are a little bit tired and also because of the climate condition here in Shillong. Mohun Bagan is a great club and after beating them we are having more confidence now.”

I Wasn’t Aware That I’m The Youngest Goalscorer: Jitendra Singh

NEW DELHI: 16 years, 6 months and 13 days old defender Jitendra Singh became the youngest goalscorer in I-League when he scored for AIFF’s developmental team Indian Arrows against Shillong Lajong FC in their last match of the Hero I-League, a day after Christmas, a match which the Arrows eventually won 3-0.

Life hasn’t been the same for the sturdy defender since the FIFA U-17 World Cup and moments in I-League has provided Jitendra with ‘impeccable memories’, which he shares in an exclusive interview with the-aiff.com. EXCERPTS:

How does it feel to be the youngest goalscorer in the I-League?

Am I the youngest? I am not aware of that (smiles).

It is every player’s dream to score a goal. I was just in the right place to slot the ball home (against Shillong Lajong) and I did not even think about being the youngest goalscorer at that moment as I was doing my duty for the team.

It feels special to have my name in the record books but I am focused on my job which is to defend and contribute. Goals for defenders are rare and I am happy that I was able to score my first.

How has life been in I-League?

The I-League has been very challenging as it is the football of the next level when we play against some of the best club teams in the Country. Given the potential of players on the pitch, anything can happen at any given time and we need to be constantly on our toes and stay focused. Life has been tough in I-League but as they say – when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Is it hard defending against physically stronger opponents?

Defending against physical opponents is tough but that seldom enters my brain when I am on the pitch. It rarely affects me because when we step out into the arena the only goal is to give our all.

What has been the importance of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in your career?

We faced tough sides in USA, Colombia and Ghana and that helped in my progression as a defender. As a team, we developed more chemistry and more bonding with each other. The FIFA World Cup was a dream come true for me personally and I revere every second spent on the pitch in the mega event.

How helpful was it?

We learnt from our mistakes in the FIFA World Cup and we learnt how not to commit the mistake twice and that has helped us in our transition in I-League. We try to learn every day in training and try to be the best version of ourselves when we play in I-League.

I Can Only Dream To Be Like Messi, Says Naorem

NEW DELHI: Comparisons with Lionel Messi have been flowing in since wonder kid Nongdamba Naorem scored that magical goal for AIFF developmental Team Indian Arrows in I-League match against a strong Shillong Lajong FC.

“He is one of my idols,” he quips in a chat, refusing to get into any comparison. In a freewheeling interview, Naorem speaks at length about the ‘Messi-like’ goal, life in the Hero I-League, the technicalities learnt in the FIFA U-17 World Cup and a lot more. EXCEPRTS:

Your goal against Shillong Lajong was very ‘Messi- like.’

Lionel Messi is one of my idols. I can only dream to be like him. The movement for the goal just came naturally to me and it was all split second decisions which led me straight on to the goal. Had I made one decision wrong it would have been different. It was just one of those moments where I did everything right.

People have started comparing you with Lionel Messi.

Can there be any comparison. Every Footballer dreams about him. It is just a motivation for me to do better. It’s not my goal, it’s the goal for my team, the Arrows.

Indian Arrows are the youngest team in the Hero I-League. How has it been when playing older opponents?

One of the elements learnt from the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 was to deal with physically stronger opponents. That has helped us immensely in the Hero I-League. Yes, we are the youngest team but that also means that we can be the swiftest and the quickest. The experience of playing in a FIFA World Cup was immense as we can handle pressure a lot better now.

How challenging is it playing against professional players?

There are a lot of tussle and tackles and physical manipulations when we play against physically strong opponents. But all of that is a part of football. We learn from each match and every opponent. Playing in the Hero I-League is a dream come true for all of us. I need to thank AIFF for providing us the platform for us to mature into better players.

What is like playing in I-League?

Playing in I-League means we are under constant pressure from the best teams in India. It also means the opponents will try to close you down quickly.

How important has the FIFA U-17 World Cup been in your development?

The FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 unlocked a different part. It taught me to give my hundred percent on the pitch even while being under pressure. It made me understand, or rather all of us understand that anything is possible when you stay committed as a team. It evolved me into a much better player on and off the pitch.

I-League 2017/18: Arrows blank 10-man Lajong to bounce back to winning ways

NEW DELHI: Indian Arrows blank Shillong Lajong FC 3-0 in an I-League 2017/18 encounter at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday afternoon.

Jitendra Singh’s (19th) goal gave Arrows a 1-0 lead at interval, before second-half substitutes Nongdamba Naorem (86th) and Rahul Balan’s (90+1st) late goals secured full three points for Arrows. But it might well have been a different story had Lajong taken their chances, particularly in the first-half.

The win lifted Arrows to sixth place in the league table with 6 points from 5 matches, while Lajong remained on fourth position with 10 points from 7 games.

Arrows went into the match with Assistant Coach Flyod Pinto in charge while Head Coach Luis Norton de Matos is away on Christmas vacation.

The game started brightly with the visitors seeing little of the ball in the opening exchanges. Arrows looked dangerous when came forward, looking extremely fluid in their movement and especially when they attacked down the flanks, but they failed to make enough chances in front of goal as the final pass always lacked the necessary quality.

After a number of missed half chances, a perfect opportunity fell for Abhijit Sarkar in the 13th minute, but the midfielder missed from inside the area, after Jeakson Singh delivered a neat cross into his path.

Six minutes later, Arrows grabbed the lead when Jitendra found the back of the net from Rahim Ali’s pass to give the hosts a well deserved lead.

Arrows, who came into the match on the back of three successive defeats, could not have asked for a better start.

The visitors, though, went in immediate search of parity with Abdoulaye Koffi and Abdullah Al Hagri forcing Arrows custodian Dheeraj Singh into successive saves at the other end of the pitch.

However, it was Arrows who went closest to the next goal with Rahim squandering a golden chance to double the hosts’ lead. The striker denied by Lajong keeper Phurba Tempa Lachenpa who made a brilliant save.

Late in the first-half, Lajong came close to pulling level when Koffi got on the end of a pin-point cross by Samuel Lalmuanpuia, but his resulting header went wide of the target following a period of sustained pressure.

Arrows did just about enough to hold a 1-0 lead at the break.

The hosts began the second half brightly like they did the first, with a goal beckoning from every move.

With Arrows pushing for a second goal, skipper Amarjit Singh came close to finding the back of the net, but his attempt failed to hit the target in the 54th minute.

Eager not to lose two games in succession, Lajong tried to push men forward in search for the equalizer, but passing in the final third was poor and chances on goal were hard to come by.

Lajong pushed the self destruct button in the 61st minute when substitute Lalrohlua received his marching orders for a needless challenge on Ninthoinganba Meetei.

Arrows used their extra man to good advantage with waves of attacks being launched at Phurba Tempa Lachenpa’s goal.

With Arrows piling on the pressure and using their extra man to their benefit, it was obvious that Lajong would struggle to hold out the tide of blue jerseys that were swamping their penalty area.

Naorem dribbled his way past five Lajong defenders before finishing off the move with a brilliant strike into the bottom right to make it 2-0 in the 86th minute.

Then Rahul rounded off the scoring in stoppage time from Rahim’s pass.

I-League 2017/18: Arrows, Lajong look to bounce back

Shillong: The All India Football Federation’s developmental side, Indian Arrows will host Shillong Lajong FC in an I-League encounter on 26th December at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi.

Shillong Lajong will be heading into tomorrow’s clash after suffering their first home defeat against Neroca FC. The Reds were dominant especially in the second half and had many chances but in the end, the Orange Brigade were lucky to convert from their chance and took away the three points.

Unfortunately for Lajong, they have dropped to 4th position in the standings with 10 points from three wins and one draw.

The Reds are staying positive and are hopeful of getting back to winning ways on Tuesday when they face off Luis Norton’s troops and better their position in the league.

Shillong Lajong Head Coach Bobby Nongbet said, “Our boys are set and ready for the game. We are equally a young side in the league. It will be an interesting match and we need 3 points and will try out best to get it.”

“Indian Arrows is a young, fast and a very good side. We will not underestimate them of their past outings. Our boys will go all out and give 100 percent”, Bobby added.

The Indian Arrows is currently in the 9th position in the I-League standings with three points. They began their campaign on a winning note against Chennai City but since then they have gone down, encountering three back to back losses against Minerva Punjab (Twice) and Gokulam Kerala. Also, the Arrows haven’t been able to score in their last three matches despite winning their first by three goals to nil.

Most of players in the squad were part of the FIFA U-17 World Cup team that represented the country and are a talented bunch. A mix of both one of the best Under 17 and Under 19 players in the country makes this team very competitive in the I-League.

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.

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.