Shillong, Jul 2: Malki SC frustrated Rangdajied United FC no end in a goalless draw in the 12th match of the OC Blue Shillong Premier League at Third Ground, Polo, here today.
This was the first time all season that a game has ended 0-0. What made Malki’s effort more impressive was that they played with 10 men for the last 40 minutes after March Marbaniang was sent off; this was the second red card for a Malki player in three matches.
The result means that Rangdajied lost an opportunity to retake second place in the standings; they now have 5 points from three games, behind Ryntih SC (6 points) and leaders Mawlai SC (9). Malki are fifth with 4 points, tied with Langsning FC and with the same goal difference (-1) but behind on goals scored (3 to 2).
Today, player-coach Aiborlang Khongjee occupied himself on the sidelines and made wholesale changes to the playing XI, giving opportunities to players who have otherwise largely been on the bench in the opening two games, such as Denzil Warjri, Balamlynti Khongjee, Oresterwell Langshiang and Khrawkupar Jana.
Malki’s coach Kitkupar Kharshiing, meanwhile, made just two changes by bringing on Nikel Ryntathiang and Emboklang Nongkhlaw, the latter a bright young talent who has been with Bengaluru FC’s youth setup in recent times.
The game started energetically with the very first minute witnessing attempts at either end of the pitch. Malki’s defence looked a little vulnerable but Rangdajied’s was not rock solid by any means.
However, both clubs also lacked in the finishing department, evidenced by Donboklang Lyngdoh’s miss in the third minute for RUFC. Kyrpadlang Tariang also had a brilliant chance to put Malki into the lead in the 38th after receiving a through ball from Emboklang but his attempt to lob the goalkeeper was askew.
In the second half, Marbaniang was red-carded after having words with the referee and from then on Malki were really on the back foot, though, ultimately, Rangdajied were unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority.
Balamlynti went close by skimming the crossbar in the 66th minute and Langshiang smashed the horizontal eight minutes later. The chances kept coming Rangdajied’s way but substitute Chesterpaul Lyngdoh somehow fluffed a shot in a desperate melee in the Malki box.
Malki’s only real chance came in the 88th minute when Kenny Kharnaior’s header off a free-kick went wide.
More than six minutes of stoppage time were played and Rangdajied had their chances here as well but were ultimately frustrated by a dogged Malki team. This was RUFC’s second draw, having finished 1-1 against bottom side Mawkhar SC in the opening round of the OC Blue SPL.
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