Shillong, Jul 6: Ryntih SC defeated defending champions Shillong Lajong FC 3-0 in the 14th match of the OC Blue Shillong Premier League 2021-22 at Third Ground, Polo, here today.
Wilbert Marbaniang executed a nice move to head Ryntih into the lead in the 20th minute. He then bagged his brace in the 67th but, in between, substitute Allen Lyngdoh Nongbri scored via a penalty in the 48th.
Before today, Ryntih had 6 points from two wins and one defeat while Lajong had secured just 1 point from three outings.
It was the young Lajong side that started the better, with a quickly taken free-kick almost leading to a goal but for Amon Lepcha’s and Hamedamanbha Wahlang’s inexplicable inability to get a foot onto the ball.
Ryntih, on the other hand, did not let their free-kick go to waste in the 20th minute. Taken by Restom Khriam, the ball was struck from the left flank all the way to the right where the unmarked Marbaniang was positioned to head it into the back of the net.
Wahlang missed a header at the start of the 32nd minute and Ryntih then had two chances within 60 seconds, with Dawanchwa Challam blocked and Dameki Khongstia then going over the crossbar.
While SLFC were weak at the back, the same was not the case for Ryntih, whose defenders smothered Amon Lepcha a few minutes from half time. Lajong captain Sangti Janai Shianglong was the best among his team mates up front but even his well-placed shot in the 44th minute was denied by a terrific leap by Ryntih goalkeeper Luckystar Lawai.
Switching over, the second half began disastrously for Lajong after Aman Ahlawat fouled Dawanplielad Myrchiang from behind in the box and Lyngdoh Nongbri, who had come on as a substitute at the resumption of play, converted easily.
At the other end, Lajong appealed vociferously for a penalty of their own after Ioanis Suchen went over after a good move in the box on the hour mark but nothing was given by the referee.
Suchen had come on as a substitute as well and a couple of other changes helped Lajong up their game, though they were ultimately unable to convert any of their promising chances.
A move by Ryntih sub Reson Malngiang, on the left flank, then led to the third goal of the contest. He swerved round one defender and took a shot but Rajat Paul Lyngdoh had it covered, though he was not able to gather the ball. Team mate Henry Nongneng, perhaps unaware that there was another Ryntih player behind him, failed to clear the rebound, thinking that Lyngdoh would recover it, but Challam snuck in and tapped it to his right from where Marbaniang scored.
With a 3-0 cushion, Ryntih did not have to do much except see out the remaining minutes and they did that well enough, even if they began to show a little slackness in defence. Lajong had three good attempts in the last 20 minutes or so but one was missed and the other two stopped by Lawai.
With this win, Ryntih moved to provisional first place in the standings with 9 points. They are tied with Mawlai SC but they have a better goal difference (+7 to +5). Mawlai, however, have a game in hand. Lajong remain in the relegation zone in seventh position.
Tomorrow, third-placed Rangdajied United FC (5 points) will face fifth-placed Langsning FC (4 points).
Rangdajied United vs Langsning, 4PM