Shillong Lajong scored three goals in the last 6 minutes as despite playing with only 10 men for about an hour of the game. Samuela found the back of the net in the 84th minute with Hardy adding another just two minutes later. Samuela then turned provider as he teed up Jacob for Lajong’s third in the 90th minute…

Minnows Nongkrem SC, unfazed by the fact that they were staring dead in the eye of the Champions caused problems for Lajong in the early stages of the game. It was Lajong however, who nearly scored the first goal in the 16th minute; Redeem Tlang chested down a pass inside the Nongkrem box and tried to lob the ball but the Nongkrem goalkeeper stood his ground and kept his shot out. Nongkrem troubled Lajong through set pieces and nearly scored in the 23rd minute through a corner. Their continued pressure saw Lajong’s captain, Dorjee Tamang commit an unnecessary and cynical foul that ultimately led to his early dismissal in the 30th minute of the game.

Apart from the few chances that both the teams had it was a low profile first half and though Nongkrem had the numbers advantage, they couldn’t find any means to break down the Lajong defence.

Second half saw a much more spirited Lajong side and they should have been out of sight very early into the second half had it not been for the glaring misses by their young frontline. Hardy momentarily gave the players and the fans something to celebrate in the 76th minute when he whipped in the rebound of Jacob’s free kick that had come off the crossbar. Their joy was short lived however, as Hardy was flagged offside.

Nongkrem tried to frustrate the Lajong attackers as they sat deep and defended for a point but the Lajong youngsters were patient enough and finally broke down the Nongkrem defence in the 84th minute. The young Lajong side played some impressive first touch balls with some brilliant flicks and dummies in the Nongkrem box and found Samuela alone on the edge of the penalty box. Samuela, who had had a frustrating evening in terms of his shot conversion brilliantly rounded off the goalkeeper and slotted home into an open net. Hardy added another just two minutes later. The link up play was very similar to the first goal with Redeem and Samuela exchanging brilliant passes before Redeem found Hardy in the similar position Samuela was in for the first goal. Hardy finished calmly from close range with all three points in the bag for Lajong.

Jacob, the stand in skipper who had had an impressive evening in the middle of the park, then got his name on the score sheet in the last minute of normal time. He and Samuela played some neat one two passing at the edge of the Nongkrem box and Samuela tied him up for a shot which Jacob took beautifully as he curled an unstoppable shot into the far post with the goalkeeper rooted to his spot.

The Lajong youngsters showed great determination and will power to overcome the newly promoted sides with just 10 men while Nongkrem will have to find an answer to their shaky defence and their toothless attack if they are to see themselves in the elite league next season.

Monday’s Fixture: Nangkiew Irat SC Versus Malki SC

Report by Khel Now Correspondent Worngachan Shatsang from Shillong . Shatsang loves to write and click pictures .