Shillong (Meghalaya) , June 8: Tura and Jowai will host the first leg of the two semifinals of the Meghalaya State League 2023 on June 10 with the top four teams out of the 25 that started this year’s tournament looking to stamp their authority on the knockout stage.
The semis will be conducted on a home-and-away basis, with the second leg on 13 June. The grand finale will be held at the SSA Stadium at First Ground, Polo, in Shillong on 17 June.
The draw for the semifinals was conducted in Shillong on 5 June. Khliehmawlieh (toppers from Group D) were drawn with Mawlai (Group A), leaving Rangdajied United (Group B) to face Shillong Lajong (Group C) in the other semifinal.
Group B teams played their matches at the Kiang Nangbah Stadium in Jowai and this will be the venue for the first semifinal, between Rangdajied and Lajong, which will kick-off at 1:30pm.
The action will then move to Tura for the second semifinal between Khliehmawlieh and Mawlai from 3:30pm. The timings have been staggered because both games will be streamed live on the Meghalaya State League’s official YouTube channel (youtube.com/@meghalayastateleague).
The Chandmari Ground in Tura has been the venue of Group D matches since the start of the tournament and has seen fantastic numbers of spectators turn out but for the semifinal there will be a change as the all-important game will be held at the PA Sangma Stadium, with the MP for Tura, Smti Agatha K Sangma, consenting to grace the occasion as the chief guest.
Khliehmawlieh were part of MSL 2019 but were unable to progress to the knockouts, while Mawlai are the only club in the last-four to make their debut appearance in the MSL this year.
Lajong and Rangdajied faced off in the MSL 2019 final in Khliehriat in what an extremely close contest until the penalty shootout was, which Lajong won 3-0. This year’s semifinal will thus be a repetition of that enthralling title match from four years ago but this time we will get to see two of the biggest clubs in the state go head-to-head twice over two legs.