Shillong, Aug 13: Shillong Lajong FC ended their Durand Cup 2023 campaign on a positive note by beating Downtown Heroes FC 2-1 in Kokrajhar today.
Ronney Wilson Kharbudon was responsible for all three goals, first conceding an own goal before heading two into the net for Lajong to give the team victory in Group D after bruising losses to Indian Super League sides NorthEast United FC and FC Goa.
This was the Jammu & Kashmir team’s first match of the Durand Cup 2023 and Lajong’s last as even a victory today couldn’t prevent them from exiting the tournament.
SLFC were on the back foot early on after goalkeeper Ngamsanglena Haokip was shown a straight red card in only the 10th minute for fouling Downtown’s Ezekiel Oroh outside the box.
Lajong went behind in the 23rd minute but Kharbudon cancelled out his own goal in the 36th minute and the two sides ended the first half all square at 1-1.
Lajong have previously met Downtown Heroes this year, in the qualifiers for the Second Division League. That match ended in a draw.
Today, however, Lajong bagged victory with Kharbudon heading in a Hardy Cliff Nongbri free-kick in the second half, leaving the Kashmir side frustrated at not being able to capitalise on their man advantage.