The I-league regulars have won the last three instalments of the Shillong Premier League and will look to continue in the same stride.
The first half saw some good attacking display by both sides but neither side was able to break the deadlock.
Shillong Lajong came very close to open their account in the 5th minute as they were awarded a free kick. Samuela stepped up to shoot but his shot went just over the crossbar. Redeem Tlang
almost gave Lajong the lead in the 12th minute but the Captain was not lucky enough as his shot also went over the crossbar.
MLP were looking very dangerous on few occasions today, but they lacked the finishing touch. They got a good opportunity to take the lead in the 28th minute of the game in front of goal but were not able to convert.
Just before the end of first half, Allen Lyngdoh made a good run on the left and provided a good cross to Redeem Tlang but the latter's header from inside the box went straight to the MLP keeper's hands.
After the lemon break and with some good pep talk by their head coach, Alison Kharsyntiew, the Reds looked more focused and confident on the pitch. It did not take much time for them to get on the score sheet as Samuel Lalmuanpuia
scored a powerful screamer from outside the box in the 46th minute. Shillong Lajong youngsters gained more confidence from the lead and started to combine well with each other and were more fluid in their offensive play.
Unfortunately, the lead was short lived as a mistake in the Lajong defence resulted in an own goal in the 53rd minute. However, that did not stop the Young Reds as they continued to push forward and added some pressure on MLP. In the 71st minute, Redeem chipped the ball from close range but was just unlucky as it hit the post.
MLP could have upset the defending champions today if they had more composure in front of goal. In spite of numerous opportunities for both sides, the game ended with the scores level at one all.
Shillong Lajong will play their next match of the SPL 2017 against Boys Sports on 17th August at the JN Stadium at 3:45 PM.