Shillong, Sep 7: This week’s fixtures in the OC Blue Shillong Premier League 2021-22 could decide the title as the season approaches its thrilling finale.
There are three matches scheduled, with Nangkiew Irat SC vs Shillong Lajong FC on Thursday, Langsning FC vs Rangdajied United FC on Friday and Mawlai SC vs Ryntih SC on Saturday. All games will kick off at 3:45PM at Third Ground, Polo, here.
At the top of the table, Mawlai SC, who have been in pole position ever since Round 2, will have an eye on the second game because if it ends in a draw then they will automatically become the champions.
Mawlai have 29 points from 11 games, 8 more than both Langsning and Rangdajied, who are second and third in the standings. If a team wins on Friday then they will keep their hopes alive and knock the loser out. However, if the game ends in a draw then Mawlai’s lead will be unassailable.
Even if Langsning or Rangdajied win, Mawlai only need another 2 points to guarantee them the title, so a victory against Ryntih on Saturday would be sufficient. The eagerly anticipated first Mawlai Derby between these two clubs ended 5-0 in Mawlai’s favour in the reverse fixture on 14 July and it would be a huge upset if Ryntih could avoid defeat this weekend.
Although Ryntih are out of the running for the championship, if they can secure a higher position in the standings, it could help them to qualify for the Meghalaya State League and even I-League. Their other motivation, of course, is to perform well against their local rivals.
This week will also be significant for the clubs in the bottom half of the table.
Victory for Lajong or Nangkiew Irat on Thursday would keep them safe from relegation; for the latter even a draw would be sufficient to avoid finishing the season in the bottom two.
A win for four-time champions Lajong, though, would also have implications for Mawkhar, as the latter would then find it impossible to escape the drop zone even if they somehow won their remaining two games.