Shillong, Jun 12: There will be no second chances after the second leg of the Meghalaya State League 2023 semifinals on Tuesday, a fact understood only too clearly by Rangdajied United and Khliehmawlieh as they both look to overturn first leg defeats against Shillong Lajong and Mawlai respectively.
Both matches will kick-off at their respective venues at 3PM. Defending champions Lajong will host Rangdajied at the MDSA Ground in Mawkyrwat, while Mawlai will welcome Khliehmawlieh to the SSA Stadium at First Ground, Polo, in Shillong.
The electrifying first leg fixtures took place on Saturday. In Jowai, SLFC seized a huge advantage over Rangdajied by winning 3-0 at the Kiang Nangbah Stadium. Contrastingly, it was much closer in Tura where Mawlai edged Khliehmawlieh 1-0.
RUFC, who were the runners-up to Lajong in the last edition of the MSL, will rue two errors in the second half that saw them concede twice and thus effectively cede the first leg to their rivals. Still, they know that they were not completely outplayed and, with a little luck, the tables could be turned tomorrow, though Lajong will do all they can to avoid that fate.
In Shillong, this will be the first time that the SSA Stadium is being used for the MSL and it will be only the third competitive football match at the venue since the new artificial turf was laid.
Although the surface will be unfamiliar to both sides, Mawlai should certainly have home advantage and will hope for good support at the ground. So far, Mawlai have been nearly flawless, winning all five of their group games (the only club to achieve this feat) plus the first semi in Tura, in what is their maiden appearance at the statewide league of champions.
Their opponents, though, have done very well to get to the semifinal stage and Khliehmawlieh’s players gave it their all and impressed a great deal in the first leg where the two teams were only separated by a single goal. If they are able to take down Mawlai tomorrow and progress to the final, it would surely be a fairytale result.
(Meghalaya Football Association file photo)