Thanboi Singto’s side showed their attacking abilities in the away game, despatching Chennai CIty FC…
Shillong Lajong dispelled their away woes with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Chennai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai on Sunday evening.
Goals from Fabio Pena (38’), Issac Vanlalsawma (65’), Bipin Singh (77’) and Aser Dipanda (79′) propelled the Meghalaya-based team while Amiri (89′) grabbed a late consolation for the home team.
Chennai City FC made four changes to the side that started last day against Churchill Brothers. Importantly, Karanjit Singh was deemed fit and was named to man the woodwork while Haroon Amiri came in for Rejin, Abhishek Das for Raju Yumnam and youngster Nandhakumar for Prasanth.
Thangboi Singto, as has often been the case, named an unchanged lineup from the team that held Kingfisher East Bengal at Siliguri. As far as eight U-22 players featured in the Shillong Lajong lineup.
It was the home team which started the game on the right note when Vishal Kaith had to turn away a flicked header from Haroon Amiri after he latched on to a long ball from Abhishek Das in the sixth minute.
Shillong’s defence looked vulnerable every time Chennai came forward in attack while Aser Dipanda and the other forwards of Shillong looked completely out of sorts.
Amiri had caused several headaches for the Shillong defence before Thangboi Singto had had enough. He brought on Brazilian attacking midfielder Fabio Pena for Redeem Tlang who was anonymous on the right wing. The move eventually paid dividends for the men from Meghalaya in the 38th minute.
After Charles fouled Kinowaki in midfield, Issac sent in a brilliant delivery which was met by Fabio Pena, who lost his marker well and headed the ball past a stranded Karanjit Singh.
Chennai City looked stung and deflated to concede after a good start to the game and looked a bit out of sorts for the rest of the half, which ended 0-1 in favour of the away side.
It was the visitors who started the second half well, with Kinowaki and Issac dictating the play at will. It was the youngster from Mizoram who doubled Shillong’s advantage in the 65th minute with an absolute peach of a free kick awarded after Echezona fouled Pena just outside the box.
Bipin Singh, who ran his heart out on the left wing, came up with the third goal in the 77th minute to effectively finish the game out when he was found in space just outside the box on a counter. The youngster went on to curl a sublime effort into the top corner, giving Karanjit absolutely no chance to save it.
A shell-shocked Chennai City had more misery awaiting them two minutes later when their defenders were caught out on another counter. This time the ball was worked to Dipanda from the right wing and the I-League top scorer evaded Ravanan easily and sent a left-footed effort past a helpless Karanjit to effectively seal a comprehensive win.
Though Haroon Amiri got a goal back for the home side when he volleyed home after a scramble inside the Shillong box, the sheen off the away side’s win was not to be taken away.
The massive win on the road sees Shillong Lajong leapfrog Bengaluru FC to the fourth spot with 16 points while Chennai remain rooted at the ninth position with 8 points.