Shillong, Sep 12: The rough pitch at the SSA Stadium, also known as First Ground, has proven to be a great leveller between the top teams and those below them in the Shillong Premier League with points shared for the third consecutive time, on this occasion between leaders and defending champions Langsning and Meghalaya Police.

1-1 was the score at the end of the 90 minutes, following Monday’s 2-2 draw between Shillong Lajong and Nangkiew Irat and yesterday’s 0-0 result between Sawmer and Rangdajied United.

Langsning went behind for the first time all season when Lalramtara Ngamlai bagged the opening goal for MLP in the 26th minute, but Langsning managed to find the equaliser in first half stoppage time courtesy Rimitre Thma and there were no further goals throughout the remainder of the match.

The pitch was drier today but the bounce was still noticeably bad and control difficult. It looked especially that way for Langsning, for whom the turf didn’t seem to suit their fluid style of play.

The champions had a chance to go ahead in the 15th minute, though, but Arnesius Marwein’s header off a Donborlang Nongkynrih cross was off.

The breakthrough came in the 26th minute when Langsning’s junior goalkeeper Eric Nongkhlaw came off his line to clear the ball, but it went almost nowhere, allowing Ngamlai to chip it into the back of the net.

Langsning went close again in the 36th but Kitboklang Pale blazed the ball over the bar from close range and in the 45th Brolington Warlarpih had a long-range attempt put over the crossbar by MLP goalie Kenio Lyngkhoi.

The resulting corner, however, gave Langsning the equaliser when first Ebormi Buam and Thma were unable to get off a proper shot, but the ball stayed rooted just near the goal line and Thma finally put it over the line.

Not much happened in the second half, except for Nongkhlaw making two good diving saves in quick succession in the 67th and 68th.

Langsning remain at the top of the table, now with 15 points, while MLP move up a place to fourth with eight points to Malki’s seven.

Malki will take on Shillong Lajong on Friday at 5:30PM.

(TSR photo. Langsning are in red, Meghalaya Police in black)

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