Shillong(Meghalaya), July 25: Mawlai SC finished the first leg of the OC Blue Shillong Premier League 2021-22 in supreme form with a 1-0 win over Rangdajied United FC at Third Ground, Polo, here today.
Donlad Diengdoh scored the lone goal in the 22nd minute to ensure that table-toppers Mawlai ended the first leg unbeaten with six wins and one draw and without conceding a single goal. For their part, this was Rangdajied’s second defeat and they remain in third place with 11 points.
The goal came about after a corner kick by Nikelson Bina was not cleared sufficiently well by Rangdajied. Diengdoh was stationed away from the bodies in the box and had enough space to position himself for a powerful header. Rangdajied goalkeeper Banshanlang Sten would have been a little unsighted by his defenders in front of him and therefore reacted too late to be able to stop the ball from crossing the line.
Apart from that, the match was actually quite even, with RUFC giving a good account of themselves.
They came closest to scoring in the 37th minute when Wanlamsuk Nongkhlaw got to a cross before Mawlai goalkeeper Neithovilie Chalieu but his header hit the crossbar. Chalieu has been in goal for every minute of Mawlai’s seven outings thus far and has been instrumental in those seven clean sheets.
The remaining minutes of the first half saw Diengdoh attempt an acrobatic bicycle kick that was less than successful while Rangdajied’s Donboklang Lyngdoh, the league’s top scorer, went wide with a left-footer.
After the break, Manbha Iawphniaw of Mawlai made a good run up the left flank and crossed the ball in. It turned out to be a little deep and almost went into the goal but clipped the horizontal. Later, his team mate Remark Kharmalki, who had just come on the field as a substitute, thrust a boot out to a ball that was flicked to him off a corner but it was just a bit too high and missed the mark.
For Rangdajied, Donboklang had another good attempt in the 69th minute that Chalieu put out for a corner and, deep in stoppage time, Raikutshisha Buam went wide in what was the club’s last chance to get an equaliser.
Tomorrow, fifth-placed Nangkiew Irat SC (8 points) will take on fourth-placed Ryntih SC (10 points) at 4pm.