Shillong, Sep 8: After a less than satisfactory early part of the season, Malki will go into the second half of the Shillong Premier League 2018 in fourth place after beating Meghalaya Police 2-0 at the JN Stadium here today.
The win puts Malki and MLP tied on seven points, but the former are in front on head-to-head advantage.
Primrose Lawat scored in the 12th minute (Malki’s first goal this season to come in the first half) and Alem Khongwir added the second in the 61st. This happened to be Malki’s first clean sheet of the season.
This was also Malki’s first win since their opening game, when they beat Nangkiew Irat 3-1. Three defeats and a draw with Sawmer then followed, but today it looked their work on improving their game paid off, though the first 45 minutes was quite scrappy from both sides.
Bowari Khongstia produced the opening for the first goal as he raced up the left flank. He was harassed by his marker, but still found a way through to cross the ball for Lawat to score low past police goalkeeper Kenio Lyngkhoi.
In the 23rd minute MLP had a bit of a chance from a free-kick, but Malki’s keeper Sbing Chyrmang collected the attempt on goal.
The action really lifted up a notch in the early moments of the second half when Vinici Darlong was denied by the crossbar. Soon after Ousseynou Kamara was doubly denied by the woodwork when he twice attempted to use his imposing height to head the ball home.
Just after an hour’s play Malki skipper Ronnie Nongbri passed the ball for Khongwir, who hooked it from the edge of the with his left boot low along the pitch and past Lyngkhoi.
Not everyone appeared to be happy in the Malki camp, however, as substitute Dieye Hamidou, who was introduced in the second half, appeared unhappy at being pulled off late in the game by coach L Darlong. Instead of making his way to the touchline, Hamidou headed straight for the tunnel without even a look to his team mates or gaffer.
The cops, meanwhile, struggled to make a real impact. They had close to 60% of possession throughout the game, but never really did anything with it. They appeared to lack new ideas and paid for it with their second straight loss.
The second leg will begin on Monday at First Ground between Shillong Lajong and Nangkiew Irat at 5:30PM.
(Photo contributed by Malki SC. Meghalaya Police are in red, Malki in black)