I-League 2018-19: Lajong hold Gokulam Kerala to 1-1 draw
Samuel Lalmuanpuia's goal in the second half salvaged a point a for Lajong against Gokulam Kerala on Friday...

Shillong Lajong and Gokulam Kerala FC played out a 1-1 draw in an I-League 2018-19 clash on Friday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong.

Marcus Joseph gave Gokulam the lead at the stroke of half time but was cancelled out by Samuel Lamuanpuia's penalty goal in the second half.

Alison Kharsyntiew made two changes in the Lajong starting lineup which lost 4-2 to Chennai City FC in their last match. Goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa who had left the field in the eighth minute with an injury against Chennai City is replaced by Neinthovilie Chalieu. Rakesh Pradhan came in place Kynsailang Khongsit in defence.

Four changes were made in the Gokulam Kerala lineup. Abhishek Das, Felipe De Castro, Arjun Jayaraj and Pritam Singh came in place of Deepak Kumar, Ralph Alfred, Suhair VP and L Haunhar.

The visitors started the match in the ascendancy and enjoyed more possession in the attacking third. They came very close to score the opening goal in the 10th minute of the match when Marcus Joseph attempted a header from Abhishek Das’ long ball. Unfortunately, the ball hit the crossbar and went out.

Gokulam maintained the pressure in Lajong half for the entire first half and created quite a few chances but the trio of Aibanbha Dohling, Kenstar Kharshong and Nabin Rabha in Lajong’s defence stood firm on their ground.

The visitors broke the deadlock at the stroke of half time when Marcus Joseph found the back of the net with a brilliant shot after receiving a square pass from Felipe De Castro. Imran Khan initiated the move with a forward pass for De Castro on the left flank. Castro sent a low cross into the box and Arjun Jayaraj dummied brilliantly, allowing Joseph to take the shot.

Alison Kharsyntiew introduced striker Samuel Lamuanpuia at the very beginning of the second half in quest of an equalising goal.

The home side restored parity in the 65th minute of the game when Lalmuanpuia converted from the penalty spot. Danie Addo brought down Mahesh Singh inside the box to give a penalty.

Gokulam’s De Castro was sent off in the 82nd minute after he got involved in a heated argument with the referee. The midfielder was given a direct red card.

Gokulam Kerala’s winless streak extended to 12 games. Both teams continue to languish at the bottom of the league table.

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