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I-League

I-League 2023-24: Two late goals fetch Rajasthan United a point against 10-man Shillong Lajong

Published at :February 28, 2024 at 10:45 PM
Modified at :February 28, 2024 at 10:45 PM
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(Courtesy : AIFF Media)

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The last two goals in this I-League clash were scored in the 93rd and 95th minute, respectively.

Rajasthan United FC came from behind to eke out a 4-4 draw against 10-man Shillong Lajong FC in a thrilling I-League match at the SSA Stadium in Lajong on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. For Lajong, Kynsaibor Lhuid, Douglas Rosa Tardin, Daniel Goncalves and Phrangki Buam were the scorers. Naoba Meitei, Ragav Gupta, Richardson Kwaku Denzell and Lalchungnunga Chhangte were on target for Rajasthan United FC. Lajong’s Allen Camper Lyngdoh was shown a red card in the 49th minute.

The draw meant Shillong Lajong are in the sixth spot in the I-League standings with 26 points from 16 matches. Rajasthan United, on the other hand, occupy the ninth spot with 17 points from 16 matches.

It was Rajasthan United who took the lead in the 12th minute when Lajong goalkeeper Bishal Lama came off his line to collect a stray ball but slipped at an infortune moment and the ball went away from him. Naoba Meitei chased the ball down and easily tapped it into the open net.

However, Lajong came roaring back into the match when they found the equaliser in the 25th minute. Kynsailang Khongsit sent in a cross from the right which was flicked on by Hardy Cliff Nongbri inside the box for an unmarked Kynsaibor Lhuid. The forward didn’t make any mistake as he headed home the leveler.

Lajong took the lead for the first time in the match in the added minute of the first half. Marcos Rudwere Genar E Silva laid one for Douglas Rosa Tardin inside the box before the Brazilian forward was brought down by Rajasthan defender Jefferson de Oliveira. The referee immediately pointed towards the spot and Tardin stepped up to convert the penalty.

I-League 2023-24: Two late goals fetch Rajasthan United a point against 10-man Shillong Lajong
A glimpse from the Lajong-Rajasthan tie. (Courtesy: AIFF)

Lajong though suffered a setback after the resumption of the game. They were reduced to 10 men in the 49th minute after Allen Camper Lyngdoh was sent off for a foul on Naoba. Making the most of the numerical advantage, Rajasthan United scored the leveler two minutes later. Ragav Gupta powered home a free kick that bounced before Lajong goalkeeper Lama and found the back of the net.

Lajong were not deterred. They kept fighting and took the lead yet again in the 80th minute when Nongbri floated in a precise free-kick into the penalty box. Daniel Goncalves rose to the occasion, connecting with the ball through a well-timed header from close range to put Lajong ahead.

The momentum continued to build for Lajong as they extended their lead five minutes later, thanks to Phrangki Buam. Buam’s shot successfully bypassed the opposition’s defense and goalkeeper to find the back of the net.

With a comfortable two-goal lead and only minutes remaining, it appeared Lajong might easily secure the victory. However, Rajasthan United refused to concede defeat. They were propelled in the added minutes of the match by a brilliant solo goal from Richardson Kwaku Denzell. The Ghana forward made a rasping run from his own half and dribbled past four defenders before unleashing a shot. The strike bamboozled every Lajong defender and goalkeeper to give Rajasthan United a ray of hope.

Lajong goalkeeper Lama gifted Rajasthan the equaliser in the dying minutes of the match. Lalchungnunga Chhangte hit a powerful and precise shot from a distance of 25 yards. The ball was travelling straight at Lama and the goalkeeper should have dealt with it easily. However, in an attempt to neutralise the threat, Lama chose to punch the ball over the net rather than catch it. This decision proved costly as his attempt to clear the danger backfired, leading to the ball bypassing his defenses and ending up in the back of the net.

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