Shillong, Oct 24: Shillong Lajong and Langsning will meet for the fourth time this season after the former beat Rangdajied United 2-1 in the 2nd Qualifier of the Shillong Premier League at the JN Stadium here today.
Four days before their opening match of the 2018-19 I-League, Lajong rested a large number of their first-strength team and, on paper at least, Rangdajied should’ve had this game in the bag.
However, the SLFC youngsters played with nothing to lose and came out the winners, whereas Rangdajied looked like they felt entitled to win and came out defeated.
This was the third time this season that Lajong have beaten RUFC, with both league stage games going in SLFC’s favour.
The first half was goalless, with neither side really making an impact. For Rangdajied this was a game where they were off target far more than they were on, with too many attempts on goal wide of the mark.
In only the second minute Rangdajied’s Samson Nongrum and Dawanchwa Challam combined well to make an attack up the left. Nongrum’s cross was trapped by Novin Gurung, but Challam barged his way through and narrowly missed the target.
In the 16th minute Ambilstar Sun couldn’t get to a corner kick taken by Nongrum in what would’ve been a sure goal. Lajong had a chance off a corner of their own in the 35th minute, but Bonison Nongmaithem’s strong header missed the mark.
Five minutes later Phurba Tempa Lachenpa, Lajong’s goalkeeper, made a fine save to deny a Nongrum free-kick and a minute later at the other end of the pitch Parvaj Bhuiya got to a long ball before RUFC custodian Padam Chettri, but he could only get a flick of the boot on the ball and it went straight to the keeper. The final action of the first half then saw Belton Lartang’s goal for Rangdajied overturned because of an offside.
Bhuiya’s steaming runs into the Rangdajied half of the field made him a problem for the men in white and in the 66th minute he was pushed from behind in the box by Sun and Allen Lyngdoh Nongbri stepped up to take the penalty, which he converted with ease.
Bhuiya then hit the woodwork in the 69th minute, but Kynsailang Khongsit was on hand to head in the rebound.
Rangdajied’s Dapbor Bareh later delivered a nice chip into the Lajong box in the 76th minute and Lartang then gave RUFC some hope by scoring past Lachenpa.
Chettri made one final good save off Robert Khongjoh in the 84th minute, but there was no way back for Rangdajied, who exited in rather disappointing fashion.
Langsning and Lajong will play the final on a date yet to be announced.
(TSR photo. Shillong Lajong are in red, Rangdajied United in white)