Shivajians face stern test from in-form Lajong as they seek to secure a maiden Fed Cup appearance

 A spirited Shillong Lajong FC gets ready to face off DSK Shivajians for the second leg fixture of the Hero I-League 2016-17 season. The hosts, who finished at the bottom of the league table last season, are desperate to do well this time so they get to be amongst the clubs that participate in the Federation Cup in May.

The two sides have previously met each other in Shillong on 11th February and DSK was the team to break Lajong’s four match winning spell. The visiting team won by a 2-1 margin in what was a hard fought encounter with goals from Dicka Dipanda for Shillong Lajong while Sanju Pradhan and Shane McFaul netted for DSK.

The Reds will be heading into tomorrow’s clash after a three week long International break which they fully made use to recover as well as prepare for the remaining I-League matches. Their last encounter was away in Goa against Churchill Brothers on 12th March, the result was a goalless draw. 

Courtesy: Shillong Lajong FC

Meanwhile, DSK Shivajians played against Mumbai FC at home in their last encounter before the I-League break and won the game by 5-0. Holicharan Nazary scored two goals, Sanju Pradhan, Lallianzuala and Jerry Mawihmingthanga netted one each which lead to the team’s 5-0 victory over the Mumbaikars.

Shillong Lajong is fourth in the I-League standings with 20 points. They have scored a total of 18 goals and won 6 times, drew twice and lost five games. The Pune based outfit are in the 7th position with 14 points and have registered three wins, five draws and 6 losses. They have scored as many as 15 goals with Holicharan Nazary their top scorer in the team scoring four goals. 

Aser Dipanda Dicka remains the top scorer of the I-League with 9 goals and the striker is hungry for more as he wishes to see the team end the season in a good position. The 28 year old striker said, “There are five matches left and I want to score as many goals possible and for that I am going to give my best. It’s not just about being the top scorer. What matters the most is we finish the league in a good position,” he added.

He also said, “We will have to fight hard until the final whistle. Our target is to collect three points from this game and come back home ready to face two big opponents in Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru.”

DSK Shivajians are a strong customer at home and can prove to be very dangerous with their counter attacks and can create good chances in front of goal. Dave Rogers' boys memorable outing at home against Mumbai FC was their biggest margin victory win of the season. The DSK coach would wish to see his boys supplying good balls to the strikers upfront who will have to fulfil their finishing responsibilities. 

Lajong on the other hand are hoping to get back over DSK as they narrowly went down to them the last time around in Shillong. The Lajong gaffer is expecting his boys to put up a good show on Saturday night and a win is definitely what they want from the game. 

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s clash, Thangboi Singto said, “We need to play with the same rhythm and momentum as we did before the break. We need to get our basics strong and right. Trying to keep a clean sheet is the main focus on the 8th April.”

“The whole team is doing well. So we need to play at our best in all areas versus DSK. We need to play positive football in all the remaining five matches. I wish the players all the very best as they have worked hard”, he concluded.

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