Shillong, Nov 4: Nongrim Hills and Rangdajied United played out a fascinating 3-3 draw in the Shillong Premier League at the JN Stadium here today.
Nongrim pulled out a shock two-goal lead through Batifar Swer (38′) and Damanbha Chyne (49′) as title contenders Rangdajied looked like choking right towards the end of the season. However, they won a penalty, converted by Aiborlang Khongjee (69′), and equalised via Wallamsuk Nongkhlaw (72′). The latter goal was the 100th of the season.
That wasn’t the end of the drama with Justerwell Tham (80′) blazing Nongrim back into the lead but Nongkhlaw equalised again in the 83rd minute.
Ronaldkydon Lyngdoh Nonglait gifted away the ball in horrendous fashion to Swer, who seized the opportunity after going one-on-one with RUFC goalkeeper Padam Chettri and scoring.
Early in the second half Tham tapped the ball to his right after making a run up the left. It came off the head of a defender and fell to Chyne, who smashed home the ball from just outside the box.
Rangdajied then made a double substitution, taking off Donlad Diengdoh and Lyngdoh Nonglait in place of Samson Nongrum and Belton Lartang, but it was the penalty that gave them a breath of life.
Khongjee’s conversion of the spot-kick and Nongkhlaw’s header off a corner taken by Raikutshisha Buam restored the balance but Nongrim weren’t done yet.
Tham scorched home a goal and was obviously emotional after some poor touches earlier on spoiled a couple of Nongrim’s attacks. (He’s the one with his shirt off in the photo.) Alem Khongwir provided the assist by just about getting the ball off in Tham’s direction before going to ground.
However, the lead didn’t last long as a Nongrum cross came into the Nongrim box, was headed by Dawanchwa Challam towards Nongkhlaw and the latter subsequently headed in another goal.
At this point Nongrim went more defensive to keep their one point and foiled all of Rangdajied’s desperate attempts to find the winning goal.
Rangdajied are now tied with Shillong Lajong on 21 points, but the latter have a game in hand and the advantage is firmly with them to win a fourth SPL title. Nongrim move to 10 points but stay in fifth position.
Tomorrow Laban are scheduled to face Ryntih at 2:45PM.
(TSR photo. Nongrim Hills celebrate Justerwell Tham’s goal)