I-League 2023-24: Shillong Lajong share spoils with NEROCA
Shillong Lajong’s first I-League home game in four seasons didn’t go as per plan.
Shillong Lajong FC earned a point on I-League’s return to the Meghalaya capital after a gap of four seasons, holding fellow North-eastern side NEROCA FC to a 1-1 draw at the SSA Stadium on Thursday, November 9, 2023.
Lajong, who had also drawn 1-1 with Mohammedan Sporting in Naihati last week, took the lead through their Brazilian midfielder Renan Paulino in the 34th minute. A capacity crowd showed up for the weekday afternoon kick-off in the heart of Shillong, and they were treated to a solid first half from the home side.
However, NEROCA bounced back in the second half, equalising through Jamaican striker Fabian Reid in the 79th minute. The Orange Brigade, who had leaked as many as eight goals in their first two trips to Sreenidi Deccan and Gokulam Kerala, finally got off the mark this season with a valuable point.
As a result, both Shillong Lajong and NEROCA climbed a couple of places in the table. Bobby Nongbet’s Lajong are now 9th with two points from as many games, while NEROCA lifted themselves off the foot of the table to move to 11th.
Shillong Lajong will next welcome Sreenidi Deccan on November 14, and NEROCA take on Aizawl on the same day in their first home game of the season in Kalyani.