Shillong Lajong secure an away win at Dempo’s cost

The 7th round of the Hero I- League saw two teams featuring at the bottom of the pile, Shillong Lajong FC and Dempo Sports Club pitted against each other at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda today.

Eventually, it was the troops from Shillong who managed to surprise the hosts with a 2 goal studded second half to avail their first away win of the season and postpone the Goan giants from getting back to winning ways.

With kick off scheduled at 4.30 pm, Arthur Papas just made a single change to the side that drew against Pune with Francis Fernandes coming on for Carlos Hernandez. On the flipside, Singto put in  Robin Gurung, Son and Uilliams in the starting line-up for Jibon Singh, Durga Boro and Rupert Nongrum.

Dempo had the initial chance a couple of minutes into the game when Lenny Rodrigues fired a shot on target but Rehenesh was alert and dived to the left to make his save.

There was much flare in the Shillong attack from there on and they were on the hunt for 3 points rather than just one. 10 minutes down on the clock, Lajong were on the counter attack and Glen put in a good ball for Penn Orji but he took his shot a tad bit late and it was cleared for a corner by keeper Kattimani.

Dempo’s Tolgay Ozbey frequently found himself all on his own in the opponent’s danger area and even secured a corner for the team in the 18th minute but they were unable to reap any benefit out of it. The 33- year old World Cupper Cornell Glen was then showing his class as he dictated the proceedings as Dempo’s mid field was in shambles and conceding possession quite easily.

On the 23rd minute he launched an attack in combination with Penn Orji and eventually fired a shot under pressure from Nirmal Chhetri and procured a corner.

Kattimani came to the forefront in the 27th minute when he surged out and narrowed the angle to prevent a goal as the Lajong shot was forced to go wide.

Glen then faced the spotlight just a minute later when he scattered an opportunity and missed an absolute sitter as he shot wide from a perfect position.

From there on, Lajong fairly dominated the game until the half time as they cut through the defense to give a harrowing time to Dempo whose mid field also looked fragile. The Shillong keeper Rehenesh had relatively faced no sort of trouble from the Goan forwards.

At the break, both the teams were level at 0-0 but Arthur Papas and his men seemed to thank their fortunes for Lajong had a very attacking opening and could have easily been up by 2 goals.

The second half was where Lajong rued over the missed chances from earlier on and came out all guns blazing. Sensing a possible drawback, Papas made a double substitution at half time when Jewel Raja and Mandar Rao Desai came on for Germanpreet Singh and Alwyn George.

However, just 10 minutes into the second period and Haokip nailed it in for Lajong. He put in curling ball in from just outside the box on a free kick, the ball evaded keeper Kattimani to break the deadlock and put Shillong in the much deserved lead.

Dempo who were eager for an equalizer as well as wanted to prevent another goal brought on Hernandez in place of Clifford Miranda in the 60th minute.

But, it served no purpose as the star from the first half Cornell Glen eventually managed to get his name up on the score sheet in the 69th minute. The winger set off on a lethal run to leave behind three Dempo players, then brushed Lenny aside and ultimately beat Kattimani to the far post with a terrific left footer!

The early half of the 70th minute bracket was all about Rehenesh. First, he saved a Hernandez header off a right cross from Francis, then blocked a Mandar cross from the left area. And also, earned himself an uncalled for yellow card for wasting time.

A rare chance surfaced for Dempo in the 82nd minute but Jewel Raja was late in reaching upto the cross played for him allowing Rehenesh to make the save.

The last attempt came from Lajong as they looked to seal the deal on the 87th minute but Doungel was unable to beat Kattimani to the goal.

The match came to end with a 2-0 score line as Dempo succumbed to their first defeat of the season and Shillong Lajong emerged on top after they clearly outplayed the Goan side in all departments.

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