Shillong (Meghalaya), July 18: Rangdajied United FC registered a long-awaited 2-0 win against Shillong Lajong FC in the 21st match – and first of the sixth round – of the OC Blue Shillong Premier League 2021-22 at Third Ground, Polo, here today. The match was postponed from Saturday.
Wanlamsuk Nongkhlaw (61’) and Knerktilang Buam (90’+4) were the scorers.
Before today, Rangdajied were in fourth position with 8 points and defending champions Lajong in sixth on 4 points. The win takes Rangdajied back to second place with 11 points.
SLFC have had the best time in their recent meetings, not having lost to Rangdajied in the SPL since 31 October 2016. They also defeated RUFC in the final of the last edition of the Meghalaya State League in December 2019.
The first half performance from Rangdajied looked like they would struggle to overcome the Lajong that have frustrated them for so long, even though this is a very inexperienced SLFC.
However, in the second half it was the boys in blue who looked more hungry and more capable of breaking the deadlock.
Donboklang Lyngdoh, Rangdajied and the league’s top scorer, struck the upright in the 56th minute. Knerktilang was on the rebound but his first attempt was blocked by defender Saveme Tariang before his second was kept out by Lajong goalkeeper Wanteilang Malngiang.
The resulting corner was flicked by Maxderidoff Wahlang to the far post where Niawkorlang Kyndiah was denied, again by Malngiang. A couple of minutes later, the custodian made another save to deny Samuel Shadap whose attempt followed a neat back-heel from Donboklang.
While these were good saves, it appeared as though Lajong were living on borrowed time and that proved to be the case when Nongkhlaw found the opener in the 61st minute. Both he and team mate Chesterpaul Lyngdoh were completely unmarked and they both went for the corner kick by Knerktilang but it was Nongkhlaw who got his head to the ball and this time there was nothing Malngiang could do about it.
The one way traffic continued, with numerous other chances from RUFC going begging, like Chesterpaul’s powerful volley over the crossbar in the 77th minute and Max’s completely missed header in the 79th.
Rangdajied were moving the ball well, communicating well and executing their attacks and it was just a matter of time before a second goal was scored. Wallambha Kharpran cut the ball back after making a run up the right flank and fellow substitute Knerktilang needed only one touch to see it into the net from the penalty arc.
Earlier, Lajong’s best chance came in the first half when Gladdy Kharbuli struck a lovely ball low across the ground but it hit the upright and stayed in play. The defending champions were forced to make an early substitution, removing Ioanis Suchen for Glennys Lynrah, who made his first appearance of the season.
Coach Bobby L Nongbet tried to change a few things around as the game began slipping away in the second half but the team missed Aman Ahlawat, who received a red card in the previous game, in defence as well as a clear man up front who can be relied on to score goals. This was Lajong’s fourth defeat of the season and they remain in sixth place, one spot above the drop zone.
Tomorrow seventh-placed Malki SC (tied with Lajong on 4 points) will be up against fifth-placed Nangkiew Irat SC (5 points) at 4pm.