Substitute Lalrammuana scores a last gasp winner as Lajong youngsters defeats Nangkiew Irat SC in the Gionee Shillong Premier league. ..
shillong Lajong dominated the early proceedings of the game with Jacob, their mainstay in midfield controlling the pace and tempo of the Lajong attack as they tried to break down the stubborn Nangkiew Irat defence by playing the patient passing game. Nangkiew Irat on the other hand, played the long ball game as they tried to use the height of their 7 ft tall African striker to their advantage.
16 year old Lajong goalkeeper Neithouilie Chalieu however showed maturity beyond his years as he exerted his command in the box; making right decisions while coming off his line to collect the ball. His distribution wasn’t too shabby either. He made an impressive save in the 15th minute tipping the ball over the crossbar and also made another spectacular save from a free kick.
Nangkiew Irat then nearly paid for a break in communication as skipper and goalkeeper Jermy Passah overran a backpass by a defender but Milan Basumatary of Lajong failed to score in an open net as his shot hit the goalpost. It was the last action for Milan as he looked to have pulled his hamstring and Lalrammuana came in to replace him.
Both teams failed to score and the first half ended goalless.
Nangkiew Irat started the second half much stronger and were denied the lead in the 50th minute when Reson Malngiang’s shot from close range hit the goalpost. Enester Malngiang lined up a free kick from outside the box but his shot was well collected by the Lajong youngster between the sticks. A few minutes later Nangkiew Irat sent in a dangerous cross trying to find their giant of a player Stephen Harry but the impressive Lajong youngster again managed to get a touch taking the ball off the African striker and skipper Dorjee cleared for Lajong. Nangkiew Irat pressed on and Enester Malngiang, a product of Pune Football Academy showed flashes of brilliance in the 60th minute as he dribbled past the Lajong defenders and mustered a shot but it lacked the precision and went wide.
The last 15 minutes of the game saw Lajong having more possession. Midfielder, Jacob put in a curling ball but his teammate could only get a faint touch as the ball harmlessly went out for a goal kick. Jacob was at the heart of another impressive Lajong attack again in the 81st minute when his brilliant flick released striker Lalrammuana through for goal but the striker couldn’t muster a powerful shot and his attempt was well saved. Moments later Lalrammuana turned provider as he found Samuela in the box but Samuela’s first touch let him down and his delayed shot was blocked out by a Nangkiew Irat defender. Lajong continued their dominance and Stevenson sent in a teasing cross in the 84th minute which somehow eluded everyone.
Nangkiew Irat then threatened on the break and Stephen Harry connected to a well weighted cross but directed his header on the turf and the Lajong goalkeeper collected comfortably.
A last gasp of attempt by Lajong earned them a corner and Jacob was in it again as his beautiful in swing corner in the 89th minute found Lalrammuana in the far post who climbed highest and headed in the winning goal and give Lajong all three points.
It wasn’t the best of performances by the Lajong youngsters as they failed to make anything out of their possession in the final third; often failing to pick up the right pass at the right moment but they showed the mantle of a true champion as they dug deep to score the vital goal and steal the win. Jacob Lalrawngbawla was the heartbeat in Lajong’s midfield while Nagaland youngster Neithoulie Chalieu kept his second clean sheet in a row and his composure between the sticks has surely raised some eyebrows.
Tomorrow’s Fixture : Malki SC Versus Rangdajied United FC
Report by Khel Now Correspondent Worngachan Shatsang from Shillong . Shatsang loves to write and click pictures .