Shillong, Oct 4: Malki had to weather some incredible pressure from Meghalaya Police, and that too with only 10 men for more than 15 minutes towards the end of the game, to record a 1-0 win in the Shillong Premier League at the SSA Stadium here today.
Joseph Seun headed in the lone goal in the 12th minute for Malki off a corner kick taken by Ronnie Nongbri.
It really was a game of goalkeepers, though, as both MLP’s Kenio Lyngkhoi and Malki’s Guidle Syiemlieh made a number of fantastic saves throughout the match.
Lyngkhoi, for his part, denied Nongbri in the 30th minute and then Alem Khongwir in the 33rd.
Khongwir, however, had to come off in the second half after a bad collision with MLP’s Vikram Chetry around the 63rd minute. Both players received heavy bandaging to their heads, but Khongwir could take no further part in the match, while Chetry carried on for a few more minutes before being substitute.
It was MLP who were by far the more attacking team in the second 45 minutes, but they didn’t get enough shots on target to trouble Malki.
Lyngkhoi, however, still had some work to do as Malki were dangerous on the counterattacks and the police goalie put in a another terrific save in the 76th minute to block out a Primrose Lamat shot.
Then Syiemlieh came into his own, producing two blinding saves in the lengthy period of stoppage time, including a save that denied Teiborlang Siangshai off a free-kick.
Earlier, in the 81st minute Ousseynou Kamara, Malki’s tall foreign defender, was sent off for a second bookable offence for an off the ball incident when he tussled with MLP players just before a corner kick and he’ll miss the next game against Rangdajied United.
Malki, however, held on for the victory, which is their first in six games and their first in the second leg. The last time they picked up three points also came against MLP in the first leg, when they won 2-0. Malki now have 10 points from as many games and are in fifth place.
MLP, meanwhile, will be ruing yet another match in which they were the stronger team but came out the losers. Other than the 4-2 victory over Nangkiew Irat, the police have lost three of their last four games by a 1-0 margin. The cops remain in fourth place with 11 points.
On Saturday leaders Langsning will take on Rangdajied United at 4PM.
(Photo contributed by Malki SC. Malki are in blue, Meghalaya Police in black. Joseph Seun (No. 44) is pictured heading in the ball for Malki’s goal)