Shillong, Jul 25: Rising FC and Laban played out a goalless draw in their First Division encounter here today.
The first half was a real snoozefest, with your TSR correspondent almost falling asleep. If forced to pick some highlight, he might mention that Laban went close with two headers that were slightly off target and Rising made a promising break forward but the ball got away from the chasing player.
The second half was a little more interesting.
Around the 55th minute Kitboklang Khyriem fired a shot on target, which was put out for a corner only by a sharp dive to the right by Laban goalkeeper Banshanlang Sten.
Khyriem was one of three Shillong Lajong players who took part in the recently-concluded U-18 Shillong Premier League who were in the Rising starting XI. The other two were goalie Kevinson Bareh (more on him later) and Batskhemlang Thangkhiew. What’s more, almost the entire group of team officials are also from Lajong, including coach Bobby Nongbet.
Two minutes after Sten’s spectacular save, Bareh made a quick reaction block to deny Laban’s Victor Shadap, who had timed his run through the defensive line nicely to meet a good through ball.
Bareh saved Rising’s necks again, this time on the hour mark, when he was forced to leap high to reach a header on target, which he knocked over the crossbar.
That was it for action except for two off the ball incidents, with Rising protesting profusely for what they said were slaps to the face by Laban players. TSR clearly saw the first one, but failed to spot the second (the referee didn’t see either one, apparently).
The Laban bench desperately tried to calm the tempers of their players on the pitch and the remaining minutes were seen off.
Tomorrow Nongkrem take on Smit at 4PM.
Today’s Third Division results:
Mawreng 3 – 1 Nongrah (Group D) * this match saw Mawreng come from behind to win
Umphrup 3 – 1 Green Age (Group D) * The fastest goal of this season’s Third Division was scored by Wanpyniar Nongbri in the first minute for Umphrup
(TSR photo. Rising are in blue & white, Laban in dark & light blue)