I-League : Shillong Lajong 2-0 Chennai City FC
Shillong Lajong FC made it a hat-trick of wins in a row beating Chennai City FC 2-0 at the JLN Stadium in Shillong today (January 31, 2017).
Dipanda Dicka started from where he left in the last match against Mumbai FC getting the hosts an early breakthrough in the 20th minute and following it up with another hit at the net in the sixty-fifth minute. There was no respite in sight for Chennai who were left doing the defending job for the most part as the hosts held firm to the proceedings.
That the Marcos Vinicius and Charles De Souza combination never got going for Chennai also augured well for the hosts who looked the fitter side of the two sides.
The victory takes Lajong to a pretty comfortable nine points from six matches while Chennai remain static at four points.
Buoyed by two wins on the trot at home against Minerva Punjab and Mumbai FC, Lajong started the proceedings on a dominant note looking to control the game from the outset. Singto’s combinations at the back and up front seemed to be thinking alike as Chennai were cramped for room. While Chinglensena and Nim Tamang were supported at the back by Yuta Kinowaki to hold the fortress strong, Issac pushed things from the midfield to feed the in form Dipanda.
The first real chance came Lajong’s way when Dipanda crossed one back to Redeem Tlang from far right only to see the local forward smash it for the goalie to enforce a rebound.
Five minutes later, following an excellent assist from Issac, Dipanda headed one into the nets from inside as the sizeable crowd at JN Stadium went into raptures.
In the 25th minute, Lajong had a shy at the nets twice but were unlucky on both occasions as the ball was somehow cleared in the melee.
Chennai did look like making a comeback towards the fag end of the first half but some solid defending kept them at bay at half time even as a couple of balls flew over the crossbar.
Crossing over, Marcos lost a decent opportunity to secure Chennai the equaliser when he lost control of the ball inside the box in the face of a diving Vishal Kaith.
Coach Robin Raja brought in Denton Devadas in place of Sena but Lajong seemed unperturbed.
Five minutes after the hour mark Dipanda virtually took the game away from the visitors by smashing one into the nets from close range after being fed inside by a free kick which was left uncleared.
Chennai efforts thereafter to stage a comeback bore no results as the hosts romped home to another victory. What was probably more relieved to Singto was the fact that his side could finally maintain a clean sheet.