Shillong, Oct 11: The awful condition of the pitch was of no concern to Rangdajied United as they beat Malki 3-1 in the former’s last league stage match of the Shillong Premier League 2018 at the SSA Stadium here today.
Rain overnight and throughout the day made it difficult for the players, but that didn’t stop Andy Mawthoh scoring a goal in the 14th minute after his team mate Dawanchwa Challam first attempt was blocked by the goalkeeper Guidle Syiemlieh with a dive to his left after which Mawthoh scored off the rebound.
The ease at which Rangdajied controlled the first half was a treat to watch as their passing and coordination was top notch. This was despite the fact that several first XI players were given a rest, like goalkeeper Padam Chettri, usual captain Ambilstar Sun, Mebankhraw Wahlang, Reson Malngiang and Atlanson Kharmaw.
In the 38th minute Mawthoh had a hand in the second goal of the game when he went on the right flank and fired in a low rocket of a shot into the box, which beat team mate Samson Nongrum, the defenders, Syiemlieh before bouncing off the boot of Malki’s Dennelson Pyngrope. However, the ball went only a short distance away and Chanmetre Thma slammed it into the back of the net from just inside the box.
Malki came out strong in the second session and put their opponents under pressure, which saw Rangdajied commit a flurry of fouls in the opening few minutes.
Later on, Joseph Seun was fouled in the box in the 58th minute and the referee awarded Malki a penalty. This was then converted by Dieye Hamidou to reduce Malki’s deficit.
Looking for the equaliser Malki pressured Rangdajied on several occasions but could not find a way through.
With Malki pressing high, Rangdajied took advantage in the 81st minute after a clearance went wrong and Samson Nongrum scored Rangdajied’s final goal.
A chipped ball forward leg Syiemlieh to come to the edge of the box in case a clearance was needed from him, but team mate Bowari Khongstia got to the ball first. However, he slipped as he was in the motion of kicking the ball and it thus went only as far as Nongrum, who looped it over the back-pedalling Syiemlieh.
Victory has no real implication for Rangdajied. They now have 22 points from their full 12 league matches and stay in third. Sixth-placed Malki, however, just have one game to go (against Sawmer) and they need at least a point from it if they are to stave off relegation.
On Saturday Shillong Lajong and Langsning will face off at 4PM.
(Photo contributed by Malki SC. Rangdajied United are in blue, Malki in black)