Shillong (Meghalaya), Aug 23: Langsning FC’s title hopes suffered an extreme setback after they were defeated by Nangkiew Irat SC 1-0 in the 40th match of the OC Blue Shillong Premier League 2021-22 at Third Ground, Polo, here today.
A Shaibor Nongrum (81’) header netted Nangkiew Irat the victory, which was important to them in terms of avoiding relegation.
Coming into today’s game, the last of the 10th round, Nangkiew Irat were sixth with 10 points, while second-placed Langsning had 18.
The reverse fixture on 22 June saw Nangkiew hold Langsning 2-2. Today they bagged the win and reclaimed fifth place from Shillong Lajong FC (11 points). Langsning, meanwhile, remain 8 points behind leaders Mawlai SC, who now have one hand firmly on the OC Blue SPL trophy.
The goal came about after Nangkiew Irat captain Damehun Syih went up the left flank where he was watched by Banteilang Lyngdoh, who perhaps gave him a little too much space to cross the ball, which Nongrum pounced on by getting in front of Ambilstar Sun and heading it powerfully into the net.
The second half is when Nangkiew are at their most dangerous – they have scored 11 out of their 14 goals in the second 45 minutes, with five of these coming in the last 10.
Other highlights saw Nangkiew Irat’s Chanmitre Thma miss from point blank range in only the second minute of the game, while Syih struck the upright with a shot in first half stoppage time.
There were several missed chances in the early part of the second half, with Nangkiew’s Thma and Banshan Nongdhar and Langsning’s Figo Syndai all off target.
Langsning, two-time champions, put their opponents under a spell of intense pressure around 70 minutes but failed to break Nangkiew Irat’s resolve.
Late in the game, in a hilarious moment, Nongdhar almost got his team’s second goal when a perfect Apborlang Kurbah cross got to him in front of an open goal but he slipped and ended up sitting on the ball instead. Langsning were able to clear after he got up but were unable to find a goal of their own and slipped to their second defeat of the season.
It was only the second time in their campaign that Langsning went without scoring, while this was also only Nangkiew Irat’s second clean sheet, with Bobbyson Nongtdu handling the situation well enough between the sticks.
On Friday, bottom clubs Malki SC (7 points) and Mawkhar SC (3 points) will go head-to-head in the first fixture of the 11th round. Malki had picked up the first of their two wins in the reverse fixture on 24 June.