Shillong, Aug 6: Malki got their Shillong Premier League 2018 campaign off to a running start with a 3-1 victory over Nangkiew Irat at the JN Stadium here today.
Malki are the first SPL team this year to field foreigners in their squad and two of them got on the score sheet today. All four goals were scored in the second half.
Dieye Hamidou bagged a brace for Malki, scoring in the 60th and 63rd minutes, while Joseph A Seun made it 3-0 in the 84th minute. Damehun Syih, however, struck one back for Nangkiew a minute later.
The foreigners were not the only stars for Malki on the day, with goalkeeper Sbing Chyrmang blocking a first half penalty, and Primrose Lamat also creating some good moves forward, though he was denied a goal himself.
Hamidou could have had plenty more goals to his name but he scuffed three chances in the first 20 minutes of the match and only really came into his own in the second half.
Lamat was also denied by Nangkiew goalie Monlang Shylla in the 12th minute.
Chyrmang was first called into action in the 19th minute when a header from one of his own defenders made its way dangerously towards Malki’s own net, but the keeper managed to put it out. The resulting corner saw a goalmouth melee, but Chyrmang managed to latch on to the ball to deny Nangkiew.
The Malki custodian got the biggest cheers from the stands in the 39th minute when he blocked a penalty (caused by a foul on a Nangkiew player in the box) by diving full to his left.
In the second half Malki put some sustained pressure on Nangkiew and Hamidou got the opening goal on the hour mark when he headed in a cross from the right.
In the 63rd minute Hamidou quickly doubled the lead when he went deep on the left flank to meet a through ball. He was well marked by a defender but managed to chip the ball over Shylla from an impossible angle.
Then came the most comical goal of the season so far in the 84th minute. By this time Hamidou had already been substituted for by Malki’s third foreign signing, Seun.
He moved forward to meet a long ball. It didn’t look like he got off a shot, but somehow neither did Shylla manage to stop the ball and it trickled over the line.
If Malki let their guard down after that they were quickly punished when Syih headed in a cross to reduce the margin somewhat the very next minute.
There was to be no change in the score for the next few minutes and that allowed Malki to celebrate victory, while Nangkiew will be happy with a pretty good performance, though this is their second defeat after losing the opening match to Langsning.
Tomorrow Marbisu will take on Smit in the First Division at 4PM.
(Malki SC photo. Malki are in blue, Nangkiew Irat in white)