Reds defeat Aizawl away for the first time
Shillong, Dec 18: Shillong Lajong FC won the first North East derby of the I-League season with 1-0 victory away at Aizawl FC.
This was also Lajong’s first away win this year and the first time that Lajong have beaten Aizawl at the latter’s home ground in three meetings.
Redeem Tlang found the back of the net in the 60th minute for SLFC, consigning Aizawl to their first home defeat of 2017-18.
Coach Bobby Nongbet made two changes in his starting line-up as Samuel Lalmuanpuia and Alen Deory made way for Shaiborlang Kharpan and Kynsailang Khongsit.
The visitors had their first decent chance in the 14th minute when Yemeni international Aiman Al-Hagri was fouled and Hardycilff Nongbri put in a quality ball from the resulting set-piece but it was cleared away by the Aizawl defence.
On the half an hour mark, youngster Kynsai Khongsit ran past an Aizawl defender down the right wing and pulled one into the box but Tlang’s shot just went over the bar.
Lajong finally found the back of the net to take the lead through Tlang. Kharpan won a header in the 60th minute which fell to Al-Hagri inside the box but his shot was well blocked by Aizawl’s defence. The ball fell perfectly for Tlang, however, on the wing and he was clinical with his finish as he put the ball into the bottom corner without giving a chance to the keeper.
Aizawl then went on an attacking spree but goalkeeper Phurba Tempa Lachenpa and the defensive duo of Oh Juho and Lawrence Doe were on their toes to keep the lead secured.
Lajong now have 10 points from five matches and will next take on NEROCA FC of Manipur at home on 23rd December.
(Photo contributed by Shillong Lajong)