Shillong, Nov 4: Shillong Lajong will play their first away game of the I-League season against Indian Arrows in Cuttack tomorrow, with a new but familiar face joining them on the road – defender Mebankhraw Wahlang.
Wahlang captained Lajong in the old U-18 I-League and most famously was skipper of the OM Roy Memorial Higher Secondary School team that won the U-17 Subroto Cup in 2013. As a senior player he’s been at Rangdajied United in the Shillong Premier League for the last few years.
Lajong announced today that Wahlang and another of their former players – Nabin Rabha from Assam – have been brought in to the side to “add strength to their back line.”
The All India Football Federation development side defeated Lajong 3-0 last season when the former played host on 26th December and will look to challenge the Reds once again this year.
The Arrows will enter tomorrow’s 5PM kick-off on the back of a 4-1 defeat at Chennai City, while Lajong go into it after a 3-1 defeat at home to East Bengal.
According to a Lajong pre-match press release, their coach Alison Kharsyntiew said of tomorrow’s fixture, “The boys have been working very hard. They are focused and ready for the game. Indian Arrows are a strong and good team. They have very talented players in their squad with good experience playing matches abroad. We have to be ready to give our best. We need to play good football and get three points.”
His opposite number, Floyd Pinto, was reportedly also impressed by Lajong, saying, “We have watched the last two matches of Shillong Lajong and they were very impressive. Our boys have been training well. The confidence level, the energy level and the intensity is there. So it’s just a matter of transferring that into the game on Monday.”
(TSR file photo)