Shillong, Mar 7: Shillong Lajong will take on Mohun Bagan in a match for pride at the JN Stadium here tomorrow. Kick-off will be at 5PM.
This will be the final match of I-League 2018-19 for both sides, but Lajong cannot improve upon their bottom position even if they win.
Mohun Bagan, for their part, are still in a fight for fifth place, but the Mariners have only won one of their last six outings and their last match saw them humiliated by Indian Arrows in Kolkata 3-1. They have also recently released Ugandan forward Henry Kisekka and Egyptian playmaker Omar Elhusseiny.
Relegated Lajong, though, have not beaten Bagan in the I-League since 6th October 2012. When the two teams met in the first leg, the Kolkatans were 2-0 victors on 23rd December.
A disappointing season with an all-North East squad has seen SLFC win just three of 19 matches with two draws. Twenty-one goals to 53 conceded has been nowhere near good enough compared to the other teams.
However, there have been some notable positives in terms of individual performers, like Samuel Lyngdoh Kynshi (five goals), Phrangki Buam (four) and Naorem Mahesh Singh (four) who have all played in every Lajong match this year, the consistent midfield performance of Lalrohlua and strong defensive capabilities of Aiban Dohling and Kenstar Kharshong.
Nine different Lajong players have scored goals this season, including six from Meghalaya. And this has come from a team that averages less than 20 years of age.
It’s been terribly disappointing to watch some heavy defeats for Shillong’s only remaining I-League club, but the team has given us a few moments of cheer.
After eight consecutive I-League campaigns Lajong are set to bow out, but hopefully they’ll be able to do it with their best foot forward.
(TSR file photo)