Shillong, Aug 4: Shillong Lajong FC suffered a 4-0 defeat to NorthEast United FC in their opening match of the Durand Cup 2023 in Guwahati today.

Parthib Gogoi scored his first hat-trick at the senior level, adding to the joy of home supporters as the Highlanders made a splash in Group D.

Rochharzela made a run inside the box to unleash a strong shot that dipped under slippery ground conditions in front of Lajong goalkeeper Neithovilie Chalieu, who managed to parry it away feebly but it fell for a lurking Gogoi, who converted the chance.

The lead was doubled when Romain Philippoteaux converted a penalty after he was brought down by defender Kenstar Kharshong in a late challenge.

Though both sides made several changes by the hour mark, it was NorthEast United that reaped the dividends, thanks to Gogoi’s awareness inside the box and clinical finishing, and they scored twice more in the second half, both through the young Assam lad.

It was a heavy defeat for SLFC but an important lesson nonetheless before they face another Indian Super League club in FC Goa in four days’ time.

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