Shillong, Aug 25: Intensive care seems to be required for Malki as they crashed to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Shillong Lajong in the Shillong Premier League at the JN Stadium here today.
Sheen Sohktung and Phrangki Buam both scored a brace each for the three-time champions, with Ronnie Nongbri contributing the lone goal for Malki.
Both teams were in very similar circumstances prior to kick-off and desperate for victory. They had both won their respective SPL 2018 fixtures before losing their next two in unimpressive performances.
That’s where the similarities ended, however, as Lajong shone today and Malki were as poor as ever and lost their third game in a row.
Something is really amiss with Malki as off the pitch the players seem to gel well, at least from what we can see, but on the field they are just not clicking.
Lajong, meanwhile, played some fluid football today and completely dominated proceedings. They appeared perfectly at ease moving up into attack or back into defence and their passing and awareness was excellent, especially in the first half, in which they scored three of their goals. This was the first time this season that any club have scored three goals in the first half.
The opener came in the 15th minute when Rakesh Pradhan raced up the left and passed the ball for Sohktung to tap in, though Malki goalkeeper Guidle Syiemlieh did get his fingertips to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.
Sohktung also scored the second, when, in the 26th minute a long ball was played forward. He was marked by Rikmenlang Marwein, but the No. 5 chose to try and get to the header, which Sohktung didn’t contest. Marwein missed the ball, however, and that opened things up for the SLFC player, who only had Syiemlieh to contend with and he did so successfully by putting the ball low to the keeper’s right.
Buam then got on the scoresheet just before half time when Malki gave the ball away, allowing Pradhan to come forward. He then cut the ball back and Buam slotted it into the net.
After the break Lajong were at it again, with Samuel Lalmuanpuia denied twice, first by Syiemlieh and then by the crossbar.
Then in the 70th minute Malki earned a corner and the ball was headed away by a defender straight to Nongbri, who rocketed it into the back of the net.
That might have given Malki a bit of a fillip, but their performance continued to be at best average and they ended the game by conceding another goal to Buam who tapped in a Mahesh Naorem cross in the 90th minute.
Victory puts Lajong into third place with six points, behind Rangdajied United (12) and Langsning (10).
On Monday Sawmer will take on Meghalaya Police at 3:45PM.
(TSR photo. Lajong are in red, Malki are in black)