Shillong, Jul 27: Langsning defeated Mawkhar 3-1 in the 28th match, and last fixture of the first leg, in the OC Blue Shillong Premier League 2021-22 at Third Ground, Polo, here today.
Figo Syndai (24’), Shano Tariang (46’) and Kitboklang Pale (79’) scored for Langsning and Lyngketlut Myrchiang (47’) for Mawkhar.
Before today, second-placed Langsning had accumulated 11 points while Mawkhar were at the very bottom of the standings with just 2, though they were coming into this match on the back of a morale-boosting draw with leaders Mawlai SC.
The ground was slippery and a little water-logged in patches but not enough to prevent the game from going ahead. However, the players had to negotiate the conditions well and Langsning did better with that.
Pale timed and placed a through ball perfectly for Syndai in the 24th minute but the No. 11’s first attempt was blocked by the outstretched boot of Mawkhar goalkeeper Widenstar Kharsati. However, Syndai was presented with a second chance with the rebound and scored this time.
Langsning went into the break leading 1-0 but the game really came alive immediately after the second half began, with Tariang scoring inside a minute after an assist by Pale. Tariang is now the third player on four goals for the season, tied with Rangdajied United FC’s Donboklang Lyngdoh and Ryntih SC’s Wilbert Marbaniang.
However, the two-goal cushion barely lasted 60 seconds as Mawkhar came back at Langsning with a goal of their own. This came about after a Langsning defender tried to clear a ball in the box but ended up passing it straight to Mychiang, who made no mistake in getting it past goalkeeper Surjay Kumar Pariyar.
Later on, Mawkhar almost found the equaliser via substitute Aibanraplang Dohling but Pariyar managed to get a hand to the ball, which then came off the upright and trickled back towards the goal line but the keeper managed to gather it up just in time.
Langsning immediately countered and in the process bagged their third goal. This time Syndai was denied by Kharsati but Pale was on hand for the rebound and, noticing that the keeper was out of position, wasted no time in taking the shot.
Mawkhar played admirably well in the second half, continually getting into attacking positions and getting balls into the box but Langsning’s defenders worked overtime to keep them at bay.
Mawkhar’s best chance was arguably in the 64th minute when Pariyar’s boot got caught in standing water and his clearance went straight to a Mawkhar player with the goalie well off his line. The ball was then passed to a free Banehskhem Khongsdam but he possibly took one touch too many before attempting a shot, which crashed into a defender who had tracked back just in time.
Although still hunting for their first victory, a couple of good performances show the way for Mawkhar to come back in the second leg. Twice champions Langsning, meanwhile, needed this win to keep them in the hunt for another title, though they are still 5 points adrift from Mawlai.
The eight participating clubs will now enter a one week mid-season break before the second leg of the OC Blue SPL begins on 3 August between defending champions Shillong Lajong FC and Rangdajied United FC at 4pm.