Shillong, Sep 8: Nangkiew Irat SC became the first club all season to win from behind after they beat Shillong Lajong FC 3-2 in the 46th match of the OC Blue Shillong Premier League 2021-22 at Third Ground, Polo, here today.
Ioanis Suchen put Lajong into the lead in the 14th minute before Nangkiew fought back with goals from Banshan Nongdhar (41’P), Rapborlang Marwein (55’) and Pynche Tyngkan (62’). Iohbor L Lyngkhoi (85’) bagged another for Lajong at the end. These were the first goals of the season for all five players.
Coming into today’s fixture, Nangkiew Irat were in fifth place with 13 points, while Lajong were sixth two points adrift. A win would have guaranteed a finish outside the relegation zone for either team. Their first leg meeting ended 1-1 on 28 June.
The Lajong boys had the early momentum, with Lynkhoi forcing a diving save from Nangkiew Irat goalkeeper Guidle Syiemlieh (who was in for Bobbyson Nongtdu). The resulting corner led to a handball just outside the box by Damehun Syih and Lyngkhoi then hit the woodwork.
Minutes later, Wanpynshngain Nongsteng got a little tangled up in an attempt to clear the ball and that gave Wadajied Ryngkhlem a chance to cross from the left flank. Sangti Janai Shianglong let it through for Suchen on the right and he struck a beautifully crisp shot high into the back of the net.
Nangkiew Irat were greatly frustrated with going behind and it showed in their behaviour, with two players copping yellow cards in the following minutes. However, they were able to restore parity after a foul on Chanmitre Thma in the box in the 40th minute, which Nongdhar converted by hitting the ball low and sending SLFC goalie Wanteilang Malngiang the wrong way.
After the break, both sides had early opportunities but it was Marwein who converted his, capitalising on a rebound with a quick reaction tap-in after Nangkiew pressed forwards.
Seven minutes later, Lajong conceded a free-kick with a raised boot on the penalty arc. Nongdhar slammed the ball into the wall but it bounced towards Tyngkan, who absolutely nailed his volley.
Momentum and morale were now all Nangkiew Irat’s. They had a couple more opportunities that went begging but Lajong had not given up the fight yet, though they failed to convert a good Shianglong free-kick in the 79th minute.
With five minutes left on the clock, an attack up the left then saw the ball fall to Lyngkhoi, whose shot floated in towards goal, almost appearing to hang in the air, but the placement was perfect and it beat Syiemlieh.
SLFC could not find a way back, however, and suffered their third straight defeat. The four-time champions still have two games to go, against the bottom two sides Mawkhar SC and Malki SC. A win against either will spare them from relegation.
Tomorrow, second-placed Langsning FC will be up against third-placed Rangdajied United FC. Both need to win to keep their title fight alive; if the match ends in a draw then Mawlai SC will have an unassailable lead in the points table. Langsning had won the reverse fixture 2-1 on 7 July.