Indian Arrows defeated Shillong Lajong 1-0 in their second match of I-League 2018-19 season at the Barabati Stadium, in Cuttack. Ashish Rai (11') scored a brilliant goal to secure full points for the India colts.
After going down 4-1 against Chennai City FC in their first match, Indian Arrows coach Floyd Pinto made five changes in their starting XI. Boris Singh, Suresh Singh, Aniket Jadhav, Reamsochung Chongompipa Aimol and Lalengmawia came in place of Jeetendra Singh, Rahim Ali, Jeakson Singh, Sanjeev Stalin and Gurkirat Singh.
Alison Kharsyntiew, on the other hand, fielded an unchanged Shillong Lajong team from their last match at home which they lost 1-3 against East Bengal.
Shillong Lajong were in control of the game right from the beginning as they looked to pick up an early goal. They maintained possession but failed to penetrate in the attacking third as Floyd Pinto’s boys played good pressing football in the middle.
In the 11th minute, Arrows took the lead when Ashish Rai won a loose ball at the left edge of the penalty box. His curling shot went straight into the goal as Novin Gurung failed to stop him.
Lajong got their best chance of the first half to equalise when Kenstar Kharshong connected a header from Samuel Lamuanpuia’s corner but the ball went just wide.
Just like their match against East Bengal, Kharsyntiew’s men displayed wonderful football as they weaved a number of passes in the midfield. But the Arrows defenders stood firm on their ground and denied them from scoring.
Indian Arrows happily stood back and defended against a desperate Lajong side in the second half who tried their best to find an equaliser. Pinto’s side defended well and advanced only in counter-attacks.
The aways side once again came close to score their opening goal of the night at the 88th minute. Aibanbha Dohling's header from inside the box was destined to go in but a last-minute goal-line save by Arrows defender Reamsochung Chongompipa Aimol denied them from scoring the equaliser.
Arrows move to to third position in the league table with three points from two matches. Lajong, on the other hand, remained at the fifth position with similar points from three matches.