Shillong, Aug 26: Mawkhar SC came out on top in the battle of the bottom two by defeating Malki SC 2-0 for their maiden victory in the OC Blue Shillong Premier League 2021-22 at Third Ground, Polo, here today.

Banehskhem Khongsdam (57’) and Defender Pyngrope (66’) were the scorers in the 41st match of the season; this is the first time that Mawkhar have scored more than one goal in a game.

Coming into today’s fixture, the first of the 11th round, Malki were seventh with 7 points, while bottom side Mawkhar had 3. Malki had picked up the first of their two wins in the reverse fixture on 24th June by the same scoreline as today’s contest. There is no change to the standings after today’s result but Mawkhar will welcome the 3 points.

After plenty of missed chances from both sides, Khongsdam broke the deadlock in just under an hour. Mawkhar earned a corner but it was not taken all that well. Nevertheless, the ball fell to the substitute who nailed it at the top of the bounce, finding the corner of the net.

Later, Khongsdam was neatly tackled in the box by a Malki defender but the ball went straight to Pyngrope, who finished off the job with a fine strike for his first goal of the season.

Malki will have rued their inability to go ahead in the first half. After recording a morale-boosting 4-2 win over Ryntih last week, they may have been guilty of taking their opponents today a little lightly.

They looked to begin where they left off against Ryntih, with Emboklang Nongkhlaw shooting wildly on the run in only the fourth minute. One of the best features of Malki last time out was their crosses into the box, especially those by Kordor Dkhar and he delivered another perfect one a minute later for Sanborlang Marwein (who scored twice against Ryntih) but the ball got stuck in his boots and he could not pull off a good shot.

Later, Dkhar swerved past several Mawkhar defenders and passed to Nongkhlaw but his attempt ended up being blocked. Marwein then had another go later on, with a lovely through ball laid on for him but his chip over the advancing goalkeeper was wayward.

At the other end, a Leversharp Syiemlieh shot clipped a Malki defender and just missed the target and Pyngrope was also in the thick of the action but had two attempts that were off the mark.

Malki had no answer to Mawkhar in the second half and they slipped to their eighth defeat of the season. Malki needed a win to put pressure on sixth-placed Shillong Lajong (11 points) and perhaps claw their way out of the relegation zone. On the other side, although avoiding the drop still seems unlikely for Mawkhar, the win today keeps their hopes alive and kicking.

Tomorrow, Ryntih SC (14 points) and Nangkiew Irat SC (13 points), fourth and fifth in the table respectively, will take on each other. In the first leg, Nangkiew Irat fought from two goals down to draw 2-2 on 26th July.

Tomorrow’s fixture:
Ryntih vs Nangkiew Irat, 4PM

(TSR photo)

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