Shillong, Jan 28: Defending champions Shillong Lajong were a tad lucky to take a point in their first match of the final round of the Elite League (formerly the U-18 Youth League) against Minerva Punjab in Goa today.
The Group B game ended 0-0.
Lajong were reduced to nine players after Aman Ahlawat and Kitboklang Khyriem were sent off during the match.
Defender Ahlawat was shown two yellow cards in the space of five minutes towards the end of the first half and Lajong had to take to the field in the second half with only 10 men. However, the situation worsened when Khyriem was sent off with a straight red card in the 80th minute.
Lajong will next play Chennaiyin on Wednesday at 3PM. Chennaiyin won their opening match earlier today 4-1 over Reliance Foundation Young Champs.
SLFC reached the final round after topping Group B in the playoff round, which was also held in Goa.
Lajong: Muhammad Safique Ahmed, Freestar Kharbangar (C) (sub Aenam Graffenberg Jyrwa 89′), Habymmutshuh Nongrum, Baiaikara Swer, Kitboklang Khyriem, Thongram Santosh Singh (sub Donboklang Lyngdoh 26′; sub Denzil Gorby Warjri 72′), Naoroibam Romen Singh, Apborlang Kurbah, Solomon Mangte (sub Parvaj Bhuiya 58′), Aman Ahlawat, C Vanlalhriata (GK)
(Photo: Shillong Lajong FC)