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Shillong Lajong v Punjab FC Match Report, 21/01/17

2 - 1
R. Nongrum (17)
A. Dipanda (42)
L. Enyinnaya (90+1)
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
I-League 2017: Shillong Lajong 2-1 Minerva Punjab - Thangboi Singto's men make a victorious debut at home
6:40 PM IST 21/01/17
Dicka Shillong Lajong FC Minerva Punjab FC I-League 2017
The Reds recorded their first ever points on the I-League table as they bounced back to a creditable win after three losses in a row...

Shillong Lajong bounced back to a 2-1 win over Minerva Punjab at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong and managed to climb to the seventh position on the I-League table.

Two first half goals form Rupert Nongrum (17') and Asier Dipanda (42') were enough to see the struggling side notch up a win in front of their home crowd with Punjab getting a late consolation from Loveday Enyinnaya (90'+)

Thangboi Singto made three changes to the side that was beaten by Aizawl FC with Rupert Nongrum coming into the side alongside Samuel Shadap and Samuel Lalmuanpuia. 

Meanwhile, Surinder Singh made four changes as Punjab were looking for their first three points of the season. 

It was a lively start to the match with Lajong keen to make a good impression in front of their supporters. 

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Nim Dorjee Tamang almost capitalised on some sloppy defending in the 14th minute off a corner but he only managed to slice it over, in spite of being left in acres of open space. 

However, the home side took the lead in the 17th minute with Rupert running clear of the defence and managing to expertly flick it over an advancing Arshdeep Singh.

Two minutes before the half hour mark, Dipanda failed to keep his header on target after an inch perfect cross from Pritam Singh down the left wing. 

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However, Dipanda finally capitalised as he doubled his side's lead in the 42nd minute in a quick breakaway move orchestrated by Isaac and Rupert following an Anirudh Thapa free-kick on the opposite side. Samuel Shadap did well to play a through ball that eluded Arshdeep and saw Dipanda tap it into the empty net with ease.

The second half was a relatively tame affair with Ivan Filatov's half volley near the hour mark going wide being the only chance of note.

Loveday rip a scorcher from 40 yards out that beat Vishal Kaith in goal to pull one back for his team in the second half added time.

It could have been a smash and grab for Punjab in injury time when both Filatov and Victor Amobi came close, with the former's shot being saved by Kaith and the latter hitting it wide.

Thangboi Singto will be delighted with finally having points on board. Meanwhile, Minerva have the arduous task of taking on East Bengal in Ludhiana.