Shillong, Aug 22: It was a day of goalkeepers in the Shillong Premier League today as Langsning and Sawmer played out the first goalless match of the season at the JN Stadium.
Reigning champions Langsning, who are at the top of the table, made as many as six changes to the starting 11 from Saturday’s game where they beat Shillong Lajong 3-1. Unsurprising, perhaps, as their opponents today, Sawmer, had lost all three of their opening games.
Goalkeeper Frolicson Dkhar, Dibinroy Nongspung, Restom Khriam, Ronalkydon Lyngdoh Nonglait, Banteilang Shylla and Kitboklang Pale were left out by coach Hering Shangpliang. Eric Nongkhlaw replaced Dkhar, while Defence Nongtdu, Rimitre Thma, Arnesius Marwein, Roney Khongrangjem and Kynsaibor Lhuid also got starts.
Nongkhlaw performed well in his first spell in goal this season, while his opposite number Sunshine Kharmuti had even more to do during the game.
He started right from the first minute when a foul was committed on the edge of the box on Langsning’s Arnesius Marwein. Brolington Warlarpih took the free-kick, but Kharmuti tipped it onto the bar and out for a corner.
In the 27th minute Kharmuti was called into action again, this time when Marwein took a nice shot that the keeper parried into the woodwork. This time the ball stayed alive, but Kharmuti gathered it up before Marwein could get to it.
Sawmer’s Justerwell Tham then challenged Nongkhlaw from distance, but the latter was able to get his fingertips to the ball and keep it out in the 28th minute.
Some cheeky play by Langsning a little while before half time almost got them the much sought after goal when they won a corner. Lhuid aimed a short, sharp kick at the near post for Ebormi Buam to charge in for, but the No. 10’s attempt was also denied by the woodwork.
Early in the second half Nongkhlaw twice had to come out of the box to head the ball away and his heroics were only surpassed by Kharmuti, who prevented an otherwise sure own goal in the 51st minute with a great dive.
In the first half Langsning tried to get a breakthrough by going up the left and crossing the ball in, but in the second they switched to lobbing long balls forward for the most part, especially after Pale came on as a substitute.
Nongkhlaw’s only real mistake came a few minutes from full time when he carried the ball outside the Langsning box, but the free-kick by Sawmer’s Preciouslang Kharbhih went harmlessly over the crossbar anyway.
The final bit of action came in stoppage time when Figo Syndai struck the upright in almost the same way he scored against Lajong on Saturday, which was from a really tight angle on the left, and Nongspung (who came on as a late substitute) then attempted a long-range shot that Kharmuti put out for another corner and full time was signalled soon after that.
On Friday Rangdajied United will take on Nangkiew Irat at 3:45PM.
Other results –
Sohiong 1 – 0 Mawryngkneng
Mawpat 2 – 1 Madanrting
Umsohsun 0 – 6 Umpling
Mawshbuit 0 – 0 Gorkha
(TSR photo. Langsning are in red, Sawmer in white)