Tag: Shillong Lajong

I-League 2017/18: Minerva edge past Lajong to regain top spot

Shillong: Minerva Punjab defeated Shillong Lajong by 3-2 in the I-League encounter today held at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Chandigarh.

Guy Dano opened the account while Bali Gagandeep bagged a brace for the host, Minerva Punjab. The Reds came back fighting in the second half with Goals from Daniel Odafin and Laurence Doe.

Minerva Punjab took the early lead in the 5th minute when Guy Dano took a half-volley shot inside the box to beat the Lajong keeper, Phurba Lachenpa. Lajong were struggling in the first half to break forward and lacked combination play from Midfield to Forwards. Minerva dominated the first half and had the majority of possession. They created a few good opportunities in the opponents half but could not capitalise on them. Eventually, Bali Gagandeep doubled the lead for Minerva in the extra time of first half after an assist by Chencho.

Lajong replaced Lalrohlua with Alen Deory at the start of the second half and the change made an impact as the Reds were attacking well right from the start of the second half.

Koffi had a chance in the 47th minute but somehow squandered the opportunity. The persistence paid off for the Reds in the 60th minute when Daniel Odafin picked the ball outside the box after a defensive clearance and shot it past the defenders and the keeper, thereby scoring his first I-League goal.

In the 64th minute, Laurence Doe levelled the scoreline also scoring his first I-League goal in today’s goal with a header into the back of the net from Samuel Lalmuanpuia’s free kick. The visiting team found their fighting spirit and played much better in comparison to the first half. Minerva was stunned by those two goals but worked hard to regain their lead. In the 79th minute, Laurence Doe had to be replaced by Kynsai Khongsit after sustaining an injury and his absence was immediately felt as Minerva scored in the 80th minute through Bali Gagandeep.

Lajong, however, continued to fight back and could have equalized again in the 84th minute as Samuel’s free-kick was met by Aiban, but the latter’s header went over the bar.

Controversy emerged in the 90th minute when Samuel Lalmuanpuia dribbled past defenders and managed to lob it in front of goal, which was met by Koffi and headed into the net, but the referee denied the goal declaring Koffi had fouled the Goalkeeper. Lajong players and the bench were unhappy with the decision as it seemed that Koffi never touched or made any contact with the Minerva Goalkeeper and the goal should have stood. Koffi had another chance to equalize in the 95th minute but his header went just wide. Unlucky for the Reds, the matched ended 3-2 in favour of Minerva Punjab.

Lajong will now travel to Coimbatore for a crucial encounter against Chennai City FC on the 11th of February 2018.

I-League 2017/18: Gokulam edge Lajong in a five-goal thriller

KOZHIKODE: A game that swayed between the two outfits until the final whistle, finally went to the hosts’ way handing the only Keralite side of I-League 2017-18 their maiden win at their home, thanks to the 90th-minute winner from Arjun Jayaraj today.

Koffi took only 25 minutes to put Lajong in the driver’s seat and the visitors went into the changing room with the slender lead. More thrilling actions unfolded in the second half as not less than four goals were scored in the next 45 minutes.

Bahrainian Midfielder Mahmood Al Ajmi restored the parity for the hosts in the 52nd minute before conceding another within 60 seconds as Lajong’s Korean Defender Juho Oh headed Samuel’s freekick home. Gokulam made the most of Lajong’s defensive lapse as Kivi Zhimomi put the hosts back into the fight once again in the 74th minute.

Finally, Arjun Jayaraj took on his own to whiz past the Lajong defenders and blasted the back of the net to swing the match into their way.

The visitors started on a high pitch in their quest to another three points on the road and the Highlanders were heavily banking on the lanky striker Koffi who delivered rightly in the 25th minute, having tapped in Samuel’s superb cross from the wing.

Bino Geroge’s boys were pushing hard but the equaliser was eluding the Yellow outfit till the seventh minute of the second half when Alajmi’s curling free-kick banged the target to send the Gokulam Kerala FC dugout in a delirium.

Their joy was cut short as Zuho Oh headed Lajong’s second goal within 60 seconds of conceding the first goal of the match.

Lajong asst. coach Alison mentioned that his squad is a young one and they need more experience in the higher stage, their inexperience cost huge as Kivi Zhimoni caught their defence napping and cancelled the visitors’ lead once again.

Alison made some crucial changes in the dying minutes of the match but the fresh pair of legs couldn’t serve the purpose well.

Finally, Arjun Jayaraj’s stupendous effort put the hosts in the lead for the first time and they could maintain the lead to the final whistle to walk away with their first three-pointer at the home.

Lajong will now host the Mariners on February 3, 2018 and Gokulam Kerala FC will travel to the state of Manipur to play Neroca FC next day.

I-League 2017/18: Lajong Upset Neroca To End Their Enviable Unbeaten Run

IMPHAL: First-half goals by Saihou Jagne and Abdoulaye Koffi sealed a comfortable 2-0 win for Shillong Lajong against NEROCA at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium on Wednesday. The loss brought NEROCA’s nine-game unbeaten run to an end.

Shambu Mishtry continued in between the sticks for NEROCA as Gift Raikhan set his team up to ensure that their unbeaten run stayed intact. Felix Chidi led the line and was flanked by Ronald Singh and an in-form Subash Singh.

Laurence Doe, Samuel Lalmuanpuoa, Daniel Odafin, Saihou Jagne and Abdoulaye Koffi all started for Lajong as Bobby Nongbet opted for a strong starting lineup to get back to winning ways.

NEROCA started brightly and showed intent when Subash Singh outfoxed Laurence Doe before forcing Nidhin Lal to a very good save.

However, it was Shillong Lajong that broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. Saihou Jagne opened his account in I-League as he controlled a long ball from Rakesh Pradhan before slotting it past a helpless Mishtry to give his side a shocking lead.

The visitors struck another blow five minutes later through Abdoulaye Koffi. Novin Gurung’s cross was headed into the net by the Ivorian striker to double his side’s lead with a lot of the first-half left to play.

Gift Raikhan reacted to the double blow by bringing on David Lalbiakzara in place of Ronald Singh in the 28th minute but NEROCA remained second-best as Lajong continued their forays forward.

Jagne only needed to beat Mishtry to notch his brace at the half-hour mark but the custodian was quick to come off his line and collect the ball before the Gambian striker could launch a shot at goal.

Nedo Turkovic looked to have given the home side hope when he put the ball into the back of the net from a free-kick after the restart but the goal was disallowed as he was adjudged to have used his arm to guide the ball in.

Nidhin Lal landed awkwardly as he kept out Subash Singh’s effort in the 53rd minute but was back up on his feet in no time as Lajong displayed incredible fighting spirit to hold on to their two-goal lead.

Turkovic was able to get into the box from the right and square it into the path of Felix Chidi but the Nigerian striker shot went wide. Second-half substitute Sushil Singh failed to release the trigger after dancing his way past challenges and getting to the byline inside the box and his failure to get a shot allowed the Lajong defenders to heave sighs of relief.

Lajong’s spirit until the final whistle ended NEROCA’s incredible unbeaten run and handed them just their second defeat of the season.

Shillong Lajong will now travel to Calicut to face Gokulam on January 28, 2018. NEROCA will lock horns against Minerva Punjab in a top-of-the-table clash in I-League on January 27, 2018.

I-League 2017/18: William Opoku score the only goal as Minerva edge Lajong

SHILLONG: It was an intense I-League match that took place between Shillong Lajong FC and Minerva Punjab FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Sunday.

Minerva managed to beat the host team 1-0 in a fast-paced game which managed to keep the 5800 people in attendance on the edge of their seats. William Opoku scored the only goal of the match to continue Minerva Punjab FC’s fairytale run in the ongoing league.

Although both teams started off on the offensive note, it was Minerva who emerged as the better team as they managed to snatch a hard-earned victory against the Shillong based team.

While managing to hold their ground against Minerva, Lajong’s chances of winning were denied by the Minerva defence and the in-form Rakshit Dagar who was awarded Hero of the match.

Both teams started off on an offensive note right from the start of the game with Minerva Punjab taking a more aggressive approach. Lajong however, were holding their own against their opponents resulting in an equally levelled game.

Minerva’s first goal attempt came in the 5th minute with Opoku getting past Lajong’s defence; however, his shot was wide and missed the goal.

Lajong had a good chance to score in the 21st minute, however, Deory’s deflected shot was saved by Minerva goalkeeper RakshitDagar as a result of Al-Hagri failing to send the ball into the net.

Lajong midfielder Redeem Tlang went on to replace Al-Hagri in the 28th minute which marked Lajong’s first substitution.

The game was turning into a fast-paced match with each team desperately fighting for an advantage.

The first blow to Lajong came in the 32nd minute when midfielder Daniel Odafin was given a yellow card.

Minerva created another chance to score in the 40th minute but Opoku’s shot was wide. Lajong replied with an attempt at the Minerva goal which was saved by Dagar in the 43rd minute.

By the end of the first half, both teams had failed to create an advantage in a game that was evenly matched.

The start of the second half had Minerva applying the pressure on the home side. The Punjab based team’s offence was up by a notch as they had Lajong on the defensive.

Minerva replaced forward Lago Dogbobei with Girik Mahesh Khosla in the 57th minute.

The game changer came in the 57th minute as Minerva took the lead from Opoku’s strike.

Chencho ran down the left flank beating NovinGurung by sheer pace and fed Opoku with an assist who in turn sent a magnificent shot into the back of the net.

Leading the game by 1-0, it could be seen that the confidence of the Minerva team was at an all-time high as they momentarily silenced the otherwise strong home crowd.

Lajong’s chance to score an equaliser came in the 62nd minute but Dagar managed to save Koffi’s shot. Minerva replied in the 66th minute with another goal attempt by Girik.

The home side wasted another chance to equalise in the 80th minute as Lalmuanpuia sent the ball straight into the arms of Dagar.

Lajong made two substitutions in the 69th and 80th minute as Sheen Stevenson Sohktung replaced midfielder Hardy Cliff Nongbria and F. Lalrohlua replaced forward Alen Deory.

Lajong tried to get back into the game but could not get past Minerva’s strong defence.

Yet another opportunity to score was denied to Lajong as Dagar foiled Koffi’s attempt in the 87th minute resulting in a yellow card for Dagar.

With 6 minutes added as stoppage time, Lajong’s last attempt came was a fruitless one as Minerva Punjab FC garnered another important three points on their trip to the Northeastern part of India.

Minerva Punjab FC have now amassed 22 points from 9 matches whereas Lajong remain in the fourth spot with 14 points having played one match more.

I-League 2017/18: Lajong play goalless against Chennai

Shillong: Shillong Lajong and Chennai City FC played a goalless draw today in the I-League match at the JN Stadium in Shillong.

It was Lajong who had the upper hand in both the halves with some dominating football but failed to find the back of the net.

Lajong made two changes in their starting line-up as Alen Deory replaced captain Samuel Lalmuanpuia and Kenstar Kharsong was handed his I-League debut in the absence of experienced defender Juho Oh.

It was the home side who were dominating straight from the kick-off while enjoying most of the ball possession. Ivory Coast striker Abdoulaye Koffi had the first chance of the game at the 3 minutes mark when Alen’s through ball fell at his feet and he launched his shot, but the ball went straight into the hands of the keeper.

Four minutes later he was again amidst action as Redeem’s cross from the left found him, but the striker failed to connect well.

The inclusion of Alen seemed to be the right move for the Reds as the forward was finding the majority of the ball on the right flank and was allowed to make his blistering runs. The hosts were enjoying the majority of the possession in the attacking half and were creating chances from set pieces but none of the efforts were threatening enough.

Koffi in the 25th minute mark had some fancy footwork outside the box before finding Hardy who failed to control the ball to go for a shot. Hardy soon went for a long ranger on his own but the ball fell straight into the keeper’s hands.

Lajong had some follow up corners, but the Chennai defence was strong enough to clear out the danger.

Laurence then received a yellow and went into the referee’s book for his foul on Joachim. It was now the hosts’ defence who stood strong to deal with the Chennai attacks.

The first half saw some more action in the Chennai City’s half but the hosts didn’t manage to break the dreadlock and the first half ended goalless after two additional minutes.

Shillong Lajong started the second half right where they left off. Substitute Samuel Lalmuanpuia shot one from the distance but his shot went over the post without creating any trouble for the Chennai keeper. It was then Koffi who dribbled past three Chennai defenders but failed to keep his shot on target.

Chennai too had a few opportunities in the hosts’ box but they didn’t manage to test Lajong’s keeper Phurba who rarely had to make a save. It was in the 78th minute when Lajong had their best chance of the half. Aiman’s cross from the left was intended for Koffi, but the forward failed to connect and the goalkeeper had to come up with a brilliant save to keep Lajong off scoring.

Seconds later it was Alen Deory who had a brilliant chance to open the scoring, but the forward’s venomous shot hit the bar and kept him away from getting his second goal of the season.

Moments after, defender Laurence Doe had a collision with Chennai’s forward Murilo and both the players went to ground having injured themselves.

The medical team had to take him off the field on a stretcher which allowed Lajong academy graduate Aiban Dohling make his I-League debut.

The hosts went on an attacking spree looking for a goal in the dying minutes of the game but all their attacks had been cleared away by the visitors.

It was in the second minute of the four additional minutes Lajong had their last chance to keep the three points at home. Samuel Lalmuanpuia with a perfect freekick from thirty yards out which fell straight into the heads of Koffi, but the striker’s header went wide of the post. Both the teams had to settle for a point each at the end of the game which ended goalless.

Shillong Lajong FC will now host the AIFF developmental side Indian Arrows on 8th January at the JN Stadium in Shillong. The match kicks off at 5.30 in the evening.

Gokulam Kerala FC provides platform for Kerala football

NEW DELHI: I-League will return to ‘God’s own country’, Kerala, after a hiatus of six years as Gokulam Kerala FC become the representatives of the state in the 11th edition of the I-League which is slated to kick-off on November 27 with Shillong Lajong playing hosts to the Kerala outfit.

Coach Bino George believes that the inception of Gokulam Kerala FC will spike football progress in the state while I-League will provide a platform for the players to showcase their talent. “After 2011 a team from Kerala will participate in the domestic league and there is already enthusiasm amongst the fans of the club to see their team play against some of the best teams in the nation.”

“Kerala players are also excited because now they have a pathway to play in the domestic league and catch the eyes of scouts.”

But that is not it. “The most important thing is the grassroots and with the establishment of the club, there is a clear way for a child at the grassroots level to graduate to the youth teams and the senior team eventually.”

“The work on the grassroots is as important as the work at the senior level of the club”, said George.

However new entrants might be met with hostilities by some of India’s biggest club teams on the pitch. “We understand that it will be a challenging for us, but we are here to take that challenge head-on and prove a point.”

“In fact, we are very eager to perform in I-League and so are our fans”, he added.

Kerala isn’t unknown when it comes to football celebration and George believes that the club’s fans will act as the 12th man for the team. “Kerala has passionate fans who will go the distance for football.”

“Everyone in the state is excited about I-League to kick-off and I won’t be surprised if the stadiums are filled to the brim. We expect our fans to come in numbers and support us and we in-turn will reward them with our performances”, George stated.

Match Preview: Malki Sports Club vs Shillong Lajong FC

Shillong 7 th September: Malki Sports Club and Shillong Lajong FC will face off each other on Thursday in the Gionee Shillong Premier League encounter at the JN Stadium at 3:30PM.

Lajong youngsters are coming into this match after a 3-0 win over Nongkrem Sports Club. Samuela, Hardy Nongbri and Jacob Lalrawngbawla, provided the goals for the team.

The Reds have won three and drew one and have collected 10 points from four games. Unfortunately, due to injury, Bipin Singh and Milan Basumatary will remain absent from the squad.

Shillong Lajong FC Head Coach Thangboi Singto said, “Malki is one of the strongest team in the Gionee SPL. Good thing is we also have been strong and have stayed unbeaten. We just need to keep momentum and play the way we have been playing. We have worked on improving our strengths and taking advantage from the chances we create to get more goals. It will be a test of fitness, strength and character. Our boys are ready for the match”, he said.

Meanwhile, Malki Sports Club is heading into this game after a 3-0 win over Rangdajied United FC. So far, Malki have won three games and lost once and are on 9 points. The last time these two teams played each other in a Shillong Premier League match was on 6 th November 2015. Lajong won the match 3-1.

Lajong youngsters are the only team in the Gionee SPL to remain undefeated. They will look to maintain this record when they take on Malki on Thursday. A tough encounter awaits the football lovers of Shillong as Malki and Lajong will fight hard to collect all three points and be at the top of the Gionee SPL table.

I-League: Lajong log succesive wins; beat SC de Goa 1-0

Shillong: A solitary goal from the Brazilin forward Uilliams Souza in the early second half proved to be the difference between the teams as Shillong Lajong registered their first win against Sporting Clube de Goa in recent times.

The first half saw more of Sporting as they clearly kept the highlanders on their toes with some good attacking football. Odafa Okolie, Densill Theobald and Nicholas Fernandes combined well creating some good chances but failed to convert any. Loveday Enyinnaya definitely had a mix of good and average spells as he marshalled the Oranje defense with some smart reading and cleaver tackles.  However the first half saw a lot of Penn Orji for Shillong as he was clearly creating some trouble for the Sporting defense.

Sporting’s best chance of the game came early in the 22nd minute when Fulganco managed to send in a perfect free kick with only a touch required to put it past the nets, Rowllin Borges who found himself in a perfect position could only manage to head it onto the woodwork. Post this Sporting tried to pull out some long range efforts but couldn’t direct any. Shillong too had their moment when Fabio Henrique got in a dangerous position but the resulting shot went wide of the target. The match was a stalemate at halftime.

Crossing over Shillong side got straight into business as they made some good advances through either flanks. However Sporting enjoyed the first chance of the second half as Odafa Okolie made a fantastic effort but send the ball high into the skies. The highlanders maintained the pressure which paid off in the 59th minute. The match saw fractions of brilliance from both sides. Fabio of Shillong came straight against Arandim while firing a shot from point blank range. The Flaming Oranje custodian made an outstanding save but the ball rolled onto the feet of Uilliams Souza who was lurking inside the box smartly making no mistakes to give the Shillong side the lead. Form here it was all defence for the highlanders as they stayed deep in their half not giving Sporting forwards any room to operate.

The Sporting Gaffer Mateus Costa brought in his go to man from Goa Pro League Ganesh Thakur for Glan while deploying Marcus Mascarenhas in place of a tired Nicholas, but nothing could stop the highlanders from running away with three points. Both teams came up with a couple of chances towards the dying moments of the match but couldn’t convert any. As it stands Sporting drops one place to sixth while Shillong climb to fifth spot in the table.

I-League: Mumbai FC to start campaign without skipper Taisuke aganist Lajong

Mumbai: It’s not going to be an easy task for Mumbai FC as they take on Shillong Lajong in their opening fixture of the I-League 2015-2016 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong on Sunday evening. The match kicks off at 4.30pm.

The Mumbai side who had ended the last season with two successive wins against East Bengal and Bharat FC, now defunct, would like to continue with their winning form. That would certainly boost their confidence and help them to try and win the championship or at least improve on last year’s sixth place finish, which was their best performance in this competition.

Mumbai FC, the lone club from the city challenging for the top honours in this premier competition in the country, are aware that the cooler climate conditions would make it tough for them, but at the same are confident of starting the season on a bright, positive note.

“It’s not going be an easy match, as Shillong definitely have the home advantage. The chilly weather would also suit them, but our boys are coping well and should be able to adjust to the climate. That is not much of a worry as it is always better to perform well in cooler conditions rather than the heat,” pointed out Mumbai FC Manager, Henry Picardo.

The manager mentioned that the only concern at the moment for coach Khalid Jamil is that captain Taisuke Matsugae is a bit unwell. “Taisuke (Matsugae) is down with fever, which is a bit of worry for coach Jamil.  But there are chances that he will recover fully by Sunday afternoon. We will check if he is strong enough for the tough grind, otherwise he will not be included for the game,” added Picardo.

New recruits, India international Izumi Arata, Liberian Eric Brown along with seasoned campaigners Steven Dias and N.P. Pradeep will have to share the responsibility of marshalling the midfield. They will have to play a very crucial role to create openings for the strikers Jayesh Rane and Sushil Kumar to hit the target and also try to bolster the defence.

Mumbai FC’s tried and trusted defenders Ashutosh Mehta and Allan Dias will have to show good understanding with the new signings North Korean Min Chol Son, Pratik Chowdhary and Rammu Srikant to build a formidable fortress at the back and thwart the Shillong attack spearheaded by the leathal Nigerian Penn Orji. The backline will not have an easy time as the home side will keep pushing forward and try to maintain the winning momentum against the Mumbai side. Shillong had defeated Mumbai FC 1-0 in the home tie and later completely destroyed them in their own den, winning by a convincing 6-0 margin at the Cooperage ground.

The custodians, either Sanjiban Ghosh or Pawan Kumar will have be show plenty of alertness and be extra cautions to deny the rivals from finding the net.