Shillong, Oct 8: Nangkiew Irat rounded out their league stage matches of the Shillong Premier League 2018 with a 1-0 victory over Sawmer, which takes them to provisional fourth place in the standings.

Damehun Syih scored the lone goal in the 26th minute.

Defeat means that Sawmer are destined to finish in the bottom two, ie the relegation zone. They have 10 points from 11 games with one to play and no hope of getting out of avoiding the drop.

Nangkiew now have 12 points from 12 games, one point ahead of Meghalaya Police (11 games) and two ahead of Malki (10 games).

Despite having to win Sawmer were a tad off their game, especially when considering the fine performance they put in last week to hold Shillong Lajong to a draw.

They had the possession but couldn’t make use of it, as they pulled off just two shots on target throughout the 90 minutes.

William Pouliankhum almost scored a blinding long-range goal for Nangkiew in the 12th minute, but the ball came down off the bar and remained in play.

Then, in the 26th minute, Pouliankhum played a nice diagonal long ball that fell to Syih, who went deep on the right and pulled off a tight shot that beat Sunshine Kharmuti in the Sawmer goal. This was Syih’s third goal in four games and the first that Nangkiew have scored in the first half in five matches.

The points table as it stands on 8th October

There were other opportunities for Nangkiew in the first half itself, but Pouliankhum went wide with a header off a Syih cross in the 38th minute.

In the second half, Janbor Marbaniang arguably had Sawmer’s best chance, but his volley to meet a Gamelial Kharlyngdoh long ball went wide of the post in the 71st minute.

Finally Banpynkhrawnam Nongkhlaw went over the bar with a header off a corner kick in the 82nd minute and the match ended, after six minutes of stoppage time to boot, with Nangkiew as the victors. This was, incidentally, the same margin of victory that Nangkiew had experienced against Sawmer in the first leg.

Nangkiew are in fourth, but they have a very tenuous hold on that position and they could lose it tomorrow when Meghalaya Police take on Shillong Lajong at 4PM.

(TSR photo. Nangkiew Irat are in red, Sawmer in white)

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