Shillong, Feb 14: Shillong Lajong FC thrashed United Chirang Duar FC 6-1 in their second match of the Second Division Qualifiers in Kokrajhar today.
Hardy Cliff Nongbri (31′, 81′) scored a brace of goals as Lajong took a big step towards qualifying for the main round of the Second Division. Downtown Heroes FC then defeated Corbett FC 2-1 in today’s second fixture, which sent Lajong, who defeated Corbett FC 2-0 on Sunday and now have 6 points, through to the final round with a game to spare.
Coach Bobby Lyngdoh Nongbet made just one change today, bringing in Dawanplielad Myrchiang for Hamedamanbha Wahlang.
Sambor Kharsahnoh put the team in front in only the fourth minute but this was cancelled out by Situ Basumatary in the 20th minute.
By half time, SLFC had pulled out a two-goal lead thanks to strikes from Shano Tariang (27′) and Nongbri.
United Chirang Duar made three substitutions at the end of the break and for a while were able to hold their own against Lajong.
However, the Shillong team doubled their goal count with less than 10 minutes of the match remaining, starting with Nongbri’s second, followed by a goal by Player of the Match Sangti Janai Shianglong (84′) and then by Babysunday Marngar (90′), who scored a handful of minutes after coming on as a substitute in place of Nongbri.
Lajong will next play against Downtown Heroes FC of Jammu & Kashmir on Thursday, which will decide which club finishes on top of the qualifiers.
The top two teams from the round robin qualifiers will make it to the Second Division where they will join 17 other clubs that have been seeded directly.
The 19 teams will be divided into four groups and play on a home and away basis from March with aims of securing promotion to next season’s I-League.
Today’s Lajong squad: Bishal Lama, Abhay Chhetri, Sambor Kharsahnoh, Dawanplielad Myrchiang (sub Iohborlang Lyngdoh Lyngkhoi 63′), Pynche Tyngkan, Sangti Janai Shianglong, Hardy Cliff Nongbri (sub Babysunday Marngar 81′), Pursunep, Amon Lepcha (sub Samchaphrang Lato 81′), Atlanson Kharmaw, Shano Tariang (sub Saveme Tariang 70′)