Shillong, Jun 17: Ryntih took down Malki 3-0 in the third fixture of the OC Blue Shillong Premier League 2021-22 at Third Ground, Polo, here today.

Badon Kupar Marbaniang (15′) and Hardy Cliff Nongbri (45’P) scored for Ryntih in the first half. These were the first goals scored in the first half of any match so far this season. Marbaniang (pictured left) then added a second in the 64th minute but failed to register a deserved hat-trick despite having the opportunities.

Malki were reduced to 10 men in the first half with Heisniawki Syngkon receiving a direct red card for a foul on Robert Khongjoh. This was also the first red card of the season.

It was actually the inexperienced Malki team that got out of the blocks better and that made Ryntih’s opener all the more surprising.

Ambling around on the left flank, Marbaniang was unmarked and, when fed the ball, curled in a shot from the edge of the box that sneaked its way past the goalkeeper, Rihok Khongjoh, and the post.

After that it was largely one-sided, with Dameki Khongstia hitting the upright and Nongbri blazing one over the bar for Ryntih. The red card followed in the 40th minute and, in the 44th, Syngkon received his marching orders after he blatantly tugged at Khongjoh’s shirt to stop his clear run on goal.

A handball in the box on the edge of half time gave Ryntih the penalty, which skipper Nongbri took by sending the ball down the middle with the keeper diving to his left.

Switching over, Malki were disadvantaged in numbers but still searched for a goal. However, they had to press high to do so and that left them vulnerable at the back. Khongjoh took advantage of this in the 64th minute on receiving a cross on the right, which he then tucked back across the face of goal for Marbaniang to tap in.

There were other chances for Ryntih and Marbaniang had a particularly easy one in the 87th minute but these were not converted.

Malki, too, towards the end showed some real fighting spirit but their lack of a clear striker meant that their efforts were unfruitful.

Tomorrow will witness the last match of the first round, between 2019 runners-up Rangdajied United and promoted side Mawkhar at 4PM.

On paper, Rangdajied are the stronger outfit, boasting of players like Aiborlang Khongjee, Samuel Shadap and Chesterpaul Lyngdoh. Mawkhar, however, are banking on a closely-knit unit – they have largely kept faith with the players who won them the 2019 First Division – and team spirit to get them through.

Tomorrow’s fixture:
Rangdajied United vs Mawkhar, 4PM

(TSR photo)

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