Shillong team move to top of Group C
Shillong, Apr 25: Langsning FC rebounded in style and seized provisional first place in Group C of the Second Division League with a 3-0 victory in Bangalore against the Bengaluru FC reserve team today.
In a must-win match the Shillong team scored through Lancine Toure, Kitboklang Pale and Brolington Warlarpih. This was Bengaluru’s first defeat in the competition, Langsning’s third victory (which came after three winless games) and the second time that the latter have kept a clean sheet.
Victory takes Langsning from fourth place to first with 12 points from eight games, one point ahead of Bengaluru and TRAU FC (the latter were not in action today). Langsning are also three points clear of Mohammedan Sporting, who lost 1-0 at Chennaiyin FC reserves today.
Langsning had previously lost to Chennayin by the same margin on 21st April and made three changes to the starting line-up versus Bengaluru. In came the experienced Milancy Khongstia and the youthful Ronaldkydon Lyngdoh Nonglait and Kynsaibor Lhuid in place of Fullmoon Mukhim, Donlad Diengdoh and Stephanson Pale.
It looked like the first half would end goalless, but Toure then put Langsning into the lead in the third minute of stoppage time by heading in a corner taken by Pale, which gave the visitors a vital push going into the second half.
However, both sides could not find another breakthrough for much of the period after the restart. Langsning, knowing that a one-goal lead does not provide too much safety, kept up their attacking drive even as the game drew towards a close and maintained a similar balance even as they made their substitutions, which saw Mukhim, Diengdoh and Arnesius Marwein come in at various stages of the second half.
The hosts, for their part, tried to get the equaliser and maintain their unbeaten streak, but Bengaluru could find no way past the resolute Langsning defence.
Pale then took the game away from the Indian Super League reserve side with an 89th minute goal (his third of the tournament) after a rapid counterattack and captain Warlarpih then added another for good measure deep in second half stoppage time after a Bengaluru infraction in the box led to a penalty, which made Langsning’s win a thoroughly convincing one.
The Shillong team will now return home and will be back in action on 1st May when they host Jamshedpur FC reserves in their penultimate group fixture.
(Photos contributed by Langsning FC. From left – Lancine Toure, Kitboklang Pale and Brolington Warlarpih)