INDIAN FOOTBALL : I-LEAGUE 2014-15 REPORT

I-LEAGUE 2014-15 : Shillong Lajong lost Sporting Goa 1-2 at home.

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Shillong Lajong 1-2 Sporting Goa

20.05.2015 : SHILLONG LAJONG -- 1-2 -- SPORTING GOA (FT)
SLFC : Uilliams 75'
SCG : Brandon Fernandez 75', Odafa 84'

SLF : Rennesh, Khelemba, Robin, Nim Dorjee, Zordinliana, Mincholson, Milan, Penn, Souza, Boithang, Glenn
SCG : Ravi, Celemente, Biswajit, Garcia, Alber, Brandon, Pratesh, Cresan, Amna, Odafa, Wolfe


SLFC PRESS RELEASE : Shillong Lajong FC went down to Sporting Club de Goa by a scoreline of 1-2 in the visitor's favour even after the home side managed to pull one back before Sporting's winner. The game began brightly for the home side who dominated the match and pushed the visitor's on the back foot. The Reds showed some good attacking performances and almost went up ahead on the 26th minute when some fast paced passing found Glen who chipped it over the defense for Uilliams but the Brazilian could not control his shot and fired right at the keeper’s legs.

The match went on and the hosts were again on the front foot pushing one attack after the other. The game however went on into the break with the scores level even though Lajong were clearly the better side having created chances and keeping Sporting Club De Goa very quiet. The second half began and Lajong having displayed a much better performance than their opposition in the first half were almost up as early as in the 49th minute had it not been for Sporting goalkeeper Ravi Kumar who kept Penn Orji’s shot away from goal.

Lajong were dominating the second half but the Goan side found the breakthrough instead. Rehenesh TP who has not started the previous two matches for Lajong failed to find a Lajong defender from his pass which scattered into open ground and the alert Brandon Fernandes fired a first time shot at the open goal to give his side the lead in the 70th minute. Rehenesh who was a good 10 yards off his line could do nothing to stop the shot.

The hosts though shell shocked having given away such an easy goal were on their toes again pouncing on the Sporting defense that has been nervy all evening. The pressure proved to be working as Lajong won a free kick on the right flank. Uilliams, who has been taking most of the free kicks since Boithang Haokip struggled with an injury, fired a cross that found no header and caught the keeper off guard to equalise in the 74th minute. Ravi Kumar could do nothing to stop the cross as it flew into the back of the net.

The equaliser seemed to fire up the hosts who went in search of their second. Lajong won a corner in the 80th minute which was taken short to Penn Orji who crossed it into Khelemba Meitei for a header but the Lajong centre back headed right against the post. The visitors were lucky to get away with the chance.

Brazilian Uilliams Souza Silva who was brought down just before the corner remained sidelined and Sporting Club De Goa took full advantage of the 10 men Lajong side. Swift passing from the back found in form striker Odafa Okolie who did not miss his one on one chance with the goalkeeper to bring his side back into the lead in the 83rd minute sending Rehenesh TP the wrong way.

Hard done by the second goal Thangboi Singto hurdled his side back into the game by bringing on David Ngaihte in place of the injured Uilliams. The Reds kept pushing hard for the late equaliser but it was just not Shillong Lajong’s day as the side succumbed to their first defeat in 4 straight games.

The defeat for Shillong Lajong FC deterred their position to 7th place with 20 points from 18 games but the Goan side have a much better breathing space and sit on 6th position with 20 points from 18 games but with a better head-to-head record. Shillong Lajong will play their next home match against Pune FC on the 24th of May 2015 at the JN Stadium, Shillong which will prove to be a crucial encounter for the Reds as they are not yet safe from relegation.

FT : Sporting Goa win the away match 2-1 against Shillong Lajong to earn 20 points from 18 matches.
84': GOOOOOOOAAALL 2-1 to Sporting through Odafa.
80': Still 1-1 is the score line.
75': GOOOOOOOAAALL : 1-1, UILLIAMS EQUALIZED FOR SHILLONG LAZONG.
70': GOOOOOOOAAALL 1-0 to Sporting through Brandon Fernandez.
60': Still 0-0 is the score line.
HT : HALF TIME SCORE 0-0.
25': STILL 0-0 is the scoreline.
23': Lajong got a scoreing chance but Uilliams missed from Glen's pass.
15': NO SCORE IN THE MATCH.
5': Lajong earned 2nd corner kick but no score.


PREVIEW: SLFC PRESS RELEASE : Shillong Lajong FC will host Goan side Sporting Club De Goa in their 18th Hero I-League match of the season on 20th May,2015 at the J.N.Stadium, Shillong at 4:30PM IST. The match will turn out to be a very crucial encounter given the fact that both teams are subject of a relegation tussle.

Shillong Lajong FC still mathematically in threat of relegation have done themselves a huge favour in their recent performances with match winning efforts from strikers Uilliams Souza Silva and Cornel Glen. The home side are unbeaten in three home games including a 3-0 drubbing over Dempo FC, a comprehensive 1-1 draw against Champions Bengaluru FC and an attacking display of sheer quality in their most recent 3-1 victory over direct entrants Bharat FC.

Cornell Glen who has netted 13 goals all season was at his best against the I-League debutants from Pune, with a brilliant second half hat trick that gave his side the much needed breathing space from other relegation battlers. The former world cupper is currently the second highest goal scorer in the league with 13 goals from 16 match appearances, just three goals shy of top scorer Ranti Martins.

The visiting Goan side though have made similar improvements given their poor start to the season that saw them at the bottom of the table for most parts of the campaign. After the 3-1 defeat at Bengaluru FC in late march, Mateus Costa's side have notched up a 6 game unbeaten streak with impressive wins against Bharat FC and title contenders Mohun Bagan.

Mateus Costa speaking at a pre match press conference here said, “Every match is important and tomorrow is much more important. What we have done in the past is history now. We are more focused on tomorrow's game”.

Consistency though is Thangboi Singto's main concern going into the match against the 6 game unbeaten Sporting Club De Goa side. Three matches unbeaten would have spell some consistency but the Lajong coach is looking for more, "We have to look to tomorrow because the way Sporting has been playing recently and because Odafa has come back strongly, it's going to be difficult for us. Apart from that they have an overall good team. As stated before we have to perform consistently at the best of our abilities and if we do that we will have a good game tomorrow."

The visiting side will be without defenders Chinta Rao and Sandesh Jhingan but the calming personality of Portugese defender Miguel Garcia would not give Mateus Costa much of a problem. The Reds are also missing defensive reinforcements as club captain Aibor Khongjee is still out, Pritam Kumar is again ruled out for the season, Seimenlen Doungel is doubtful for tomorrow's match but full back Robin Gurung who was on the bench in their last game against Bharat FC might get a start in tomorrow's match.

Lajong are sitting pretty in 6th position with 20 points from 17 games and Sporting Club De Goa have 17 points from as many games. A win for The Reds would ensure safety and also better their position in the I-League standings.