Shillong, Dec 7: Lumniwar ensured that the battle for top spot in Group A of the Meghalaya State League will go down to the wire after hammering Lawbah 8-0 to take provisional first place from Shillong Lajong in Jowai today.
With this comprehensive victory, Lumniwar now have a goal difference of +21 compared to Lajong’s +18, with both teams tied on 10 points. Their meeting on Monday had ended in a goalless draw.
Requiring a big win to get their goal difference over Lajong’s, Lumniwar’s players delivered right from the get-go with Daminot Nongphlang scoring the first goal in the 16th minute. Man-of-the-match Andyson Lapang then bagged a first half hat-trick (26′, 38′, 41′) to put Lumniwar 4-0 up at the end of the first half.
Lumniwar added another four goals in the second 45 minutes with Shemjingmut Kharmyndai (58′, 68′) netting a brace, while Lapang (62′) and Kitdorlang L Nonglait (87′) also contributed further to the goal count.
In the second match Umkaber picked up their first win of the tournament by beating Umrit 2-1. Pynkupbor Kharbteng gave Umkaber the lead in the 63rd minute, but Umrit equalised via Banphira Kurbah (76′). Precious Jala, however, found the winner in the 84th minute to see Umkaber end their campaign with a win.
Royal FC, Umrit and Umkaber all have three points now. Head-to-head does not separate them as Royal had defeated Umkaber and Umrit had beaten Royal, so goal difference in the matches concerning the three teams then gives Royal fourth place in the group, followed by Umrit in fifth and Umkaber in sixth.
Group A (Jowai) – Shillong Lajong vs Umrit (10:30AM); Royal FC vs Lumniwar (1:30PM)
Group D (Resubelpara) – Garo Warriors vs Salaram (1PM)
(Meghalaya Football Association photo of Lumniwar)