Shillong, May 27 (Updated at 8PM): Shillong Lajong fell at the penultimate hurdle of the Junior League, losing to Minerva Punjab 2-0 in the semifinal in Kolkata today morning.
Maheson Singh and Himanshu Jangra scored the two goals as Minerva went on to dominate Lajong, for whom this was the first defeat.
Minerva will thus meet Bengaluru FC in the final on Wednesday, with kick-off at 3:30PM. Bengaluru had defeated Kerala Blasters 2-0 in today’s afternoon fixture.
Minerva got their first chance early on when midfielder Tangva Rangui volleyed the ball from outside the area, but it was saved by Lajong goalkeeper Urbanity Makhroh.
India U-16 international Maheson Singh was the main influencer in the middle of the park for the club from Chandigarh. Around the half-hour mark, Maheson played Apahaoba Singh, who penetrated the box from the left, and sent in a low cross for Jangra to pull the trigger. However, it was well saved by Makhroh again.
With just seconds left on the clock for the first half to end, Maheson drove the ball hard and low into the bottom corner of the net.
Lajong came out with more vigour in the second half, but fluffed a penalty kick that was awarded to them in the 53rd minute.
With about 20 minutes of regulation time left on the clock, Jangra lost his marker and rose above the rest of the pack and nodded the ball into the Lajong goal to double Minerva’s lead.
Maheson and Makhroh were jointly named as the player-of-the-match.
(Photo: All India Football Federation)