Shillong, May 19: Niaw Wasa United, the champions of the very first Meghalaya State League in 2017-18, saw their 2023 campaign suffer a huge blow after being edged by Mulait United 1-0 in Group B at the Kiang Nangbah Stadium in Jowai today.

There was a pre-arranged change in Group A the schedule, with Seng Samla Laitryngew playing Umkseh today and the Mawlai vs Langsning match pushed to tomorrow. However, fans could not have been more entertained as Laitryngew came from two goals and a man down to draw 3-3 with Umkseh at the MFA Turf in Shillong.

In Tura, it was a battle between two teams looking for their first win of MSL 2023 and it was Wasa FC who claimed full honours with a 2-0 result against Atong Matgrik. A goal in either half by Kouchi Rabha (36′) and S Sangma (82′) in Group D at the Chandmari Ground gave Wasa three points to add to the one they earned from an opening match draw.

The action returned to Mawkyrwat after a few days’ gap with Riangdo YSCA and Seven United meeting in Group C at the MDSA Ground. After drawing their first encounter, Seven United took victory today 1-0.

Mulait, from the Saipung Area Sports Association, delivered a gritty performance against an out of sorts Niaw Wasa but could not find the breakthrough until the 69th minute. The Jowai club lost the ball a little casually near their own citadel and substitute Ker Syrti took it past two defenders and scored low beyond the reach of the goalkeeper for the only goal of the game.

Shillong, however, was the venue of some truly extraordinary action between Laitryngew and Umkseh, both of whom had lost their respective opening match.

Umkseh ran riot at the start, with Dibastar Rani (16′, 30′) netting a brace inside half an hour, toeing the first one in while the second was more impressive as it was struck on the run. A comeback appeared even less likely a few minutes later as Laitryngew’s Banraplang Buhsan found his way into the referee’s book for the second time, which meant that he was sent off with a red card.

Umkseh, however, failed to put the game to bed and Laitryngew found their way back in the second half through a sensational 10 minutes or so. The first goal was from an impossibly tight angle by Banlambok Buhsan (53′) and that was followed by the equaliser from Iaraplang Buhsan (56′) following a free-kick. The extraordinary turn of events continued with Johnplayson Lyngdoh (64′) putting Laitryngew into the lead with a header but Umkseh salvaged their blushes with an equaliser of their own via Rangdajied Rynjah (85′) following a counterattack to give each side a point each.

Tomorrow’s fixtures:
Group A, Shillong – Mawlai vs Langsning, 3PM
Group B, Jowai – Ladthadlaboh vs Rymbai Iawpynsing, 2:30PM
Group C, Mawkyrwat – Pyndengrei vs Lumdiengngan, 3PM
Group D, Tura – Chipakkore vs Khliehmawlieh, 3PM

(Meghalaya Football Association photo)

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