Thangboi Singto's side ended their Goan jinx in style as they opened their campaign with three points...
In what was arguably the shocking result of matchday one, Shillong Lajong downed Dempo SC in their own backyard with an emphatic 3-0 win on Sunday.
A goal from Boitang Haokip sandwiched between a brace by Cornell Glen sealed the three points for the north eastern outfit who had struggled against Goan oppositions last term having garnered a mere three points from eight matches.
Simon Colosimo and Shinnosuke Honda were the two center backs in Arthur Papas' eleven with English striker Billy Mehmet deployed in the attack, while Beto and Peter Carvalho controlled the midfield.
Thangboi Singto started with Cornell Glen and Uilliams Silva up front, with Taisuke Matsugane being given the responsibility to link the midfield and attack.
It was the away side who started strongly as Uilliams’ shot in the seventh minute missed the target by not much.
Dempo had a couple of chances of their own when Beto chipped for Jewel Raja who lost his balance and as a result the shot went wide. Mehmet played in Mandar Desai in a good position inside the box but Robin Gurung was equal to the task as he dispossessed the winger.
Clifford Miranda, who was played on the right wing, should have done better to read a cross from Beto which would have left him with only the goalkeeper to beat.
However, it was Lajong who broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 30th minute. Uilliams released Glen, who cut past Honda and Colosimo with ease, before seeing his curling shot go into the top left corner of the Dempo net.
The visitors were troubling the Dempo rearguard and on one such occasion, Matsugane’s long ball saw Subhasish Roychowdhury handle the ball outside the area. From the ensuing free-kick, Lajong doubled their lead in the 38th minute with Boithang Haokip’s delivery dipped into the bottom right corner with the Dempo keeper stranded in his position.
In the closing stages of the first half, the visitors should have added another goal had it not been for Colosimo’s crucial block on Glen’s shot after Matsugane did ever so well in finding the striker after having intercepted a miss-pass from Peter Carvalho.
Two minutes after the break and Dempo had a chance to pull one back when Miranda sent in a tame effort above the bar after being put through on goal by Raja.
Once again Glen showed his class by brilliantly controlling a long ball by Minchol Son and by finding the back of the net from a tight angle to make it 3-0 by the 67th minute.
Luck too didn’t favour the Golden Eagles as Beto’s shot hit team-mate Jeje Lalepekhlua and the rebound fell for Joy Ferrao. The Dempo substitute saw his attempt come off the top right corner of Vinay Singh’s post in the 78th minute.
Beto saw his effort being cleared on the line by C.Lallawmzuala in the 79th minute and soon after Carvalho’s header from a Miranda cross was cleared by Robin Gurung.
Mehmet did well to find Jeje in acres of space however the Mizoram striker couldn’t unleash a shot as an alert Vinay Singh in goal denied the striker by rushing off his line in the 84th minute.
Dempo failed to convert the chances that came their way and in the end had to pay for their profligacy. However, Papas needs to address the issue of their defense as they allowed Lajong strikers far too much space. Singto will be pleased with the effort of his boys as they not only scored three past the Goan giants but also managed to keep a clean sheet.
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