Shillong, Nov 5: Indian Arrows defeated Shillong Lajong for their first win of the I-League 2018-19 season 1-0 in Cuttack today.
Ashish Rai scored the only goal after a mistake by Novin Gurung gave away the ball and the Arrows youngster smashed the ball from inside the penalty arc past Lajong goalkeeper Neithovilie Chalieu.
Lajong fielded the exact same starting XI that they’ve used in the previous two games, but to no avail today.
The Reds created several chances right the way through the match, from the opening minutes to the final whistle. The Arrows, for their part, had just one shot on target, but that proved to be a winning goal.
Lajong could have taken the lead in the match as early as the second minute when they had a two on one opportunity after a clearance from the Arrows defence was blocked by Samuel Lalmuanpuia, but his final pass to Naorem Mahesh Singh was obstructed by another defender. Seconds later Phrangki Buam received a lobbed ball by Samuel Kynshi inside the box but could not manage a shot on target.
In the second half SLFC earned a corner early on, which then led to a throw-in near the corner flag. Lalmuanpuia cut in from the left and took a shot but it fell safely into the hands of the Arrows’ keeper Prabhsukhan Singh Gill.
Minutes later, Indian Arrows earned three consecutive corners but their attempts to double their lead were denied. Trailing by one goal, Lajong tried to penetrate the Arrows’ defence with intricate passes but they were completely unsuccessful in the final third.
Lajong used Kynsailang Khongsit, Sheen Sohktung and Nabin Rabha as substitutes. Rabha had rejoined SLFC only very recently, along with Mebankhraw Wahlang; the latter remained on the bench.
Late action saw Aiban Dohling head a Lalmuanpuia corner, but the ball was cleared off the line by a defender. Just before the whistle Gurung took a shot that deflected off a defender and fell into the hands of Gill.
Lajong will next travel to Gokulam Kerala for their next fixture on 11th November.
(Photo contributed by Shillong Lajong FC)