Shillong, Mar 24: Shillong Lajong FC will begin their campaign in the Second Division League on 4th April against East Bengal reserves in Kolkata.

Three of SLFC’s matches will be held in Shillong, at the First Ground in Polo where work is on to lay an artificial pitch.

Lajong have been drawn with three other clubs in Group B of the Second Division League, the division below the I-League.

There are 19 clubs in all taking part, with three groups featuring five teams each and Group B with only four.

Lajong are teamed up with United SC (another former I-League side) of Kolkata, the reserve team of East Bengal (previously in the I-League but now in the Indian Super League) and Diamond Rock FC of Madhya Pradesh.

The winners of each group plus the best second-placed team will qualify for the final round.

Seventeen clubs were seeded directly but Lajong and Downtown Heroes FC (who are in Group A) came through the four-team qualifying round.

SLFC have twice gained promotion through the Second Division; they qualified for the 2009-10 I-League season (where they became the first club from the North East to ever take part) but were relegated. However, they then won the next edition of the Second Division and reentered the I-League in 2011-12.

This year is the first time that Lajong are taking part in the Second Division League since they were relegated from the I-League for a second time, in 2018-19.

Lajong fixtures:
vs East Bengal reserves, 4th April, Kolkata
vs Diamond Rock, 9th April, Balaghat
vs United SC, 14th April, Shillong
vs Diamond Rock, 19th April, Shillong
vs United SC, 24th April, Kolkata
vs East Bengal reserves, 29th April, Shillong

(File photo)

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