SPL 2022: Defending champs Shillong Lajong handed a first round setback by Langsning FC

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS Shillong Lajong FC suffered a setback in the very first match of their Shillong Premier League campaign, losing to Langsning FC by a solitary goal.

SPL got underway this week after a two year hiatus caused by COVID-19. The league has seen a massive outpouring of support as fans turned up in numbers to see the season opening clash between Nangkiew Irat SC and Mawlai SC. The limited seating around MFA Turf could not accommodate the assembled crowd. Instead, fans were seen crowding around the fences, standing throughout the game, with some climbing structures near the pitch for a better view as they witnessed Mawlai carry the game 2-0 with two second half goals from Manbha Iawphniaw and Damonlang Pathaw.

The excitement level around the 'Clash of Titans' featuring Shillong Lajong and Langsning FC was high as well, with fans eagerly awaiting this encounter of the two popular clubs who have split the last 6 SPL titles between themselves. The former Federation Cup finalists Lajong were expected to be the favourites on paper, but a tight defensive spell from Langsning kept them at bay for most of the game.

Although Langsning themselves struggled to find a breakthrough in the first half, around the 70th minute they finally got their wish. A foul just outside the Lajong box got them a free kick from a dangerous position, and even though the set-piece came off the defensive wall, the ball fell to Shano Tariang wo made no mistake finding the net.

A major win at the start of the campaign puts Langsning FC in a great position to aim for their SPL title. Although they will have to watch out for a challenge from other clubs that are well known in the national circuit - Ryntih SC and Rangdajied United - who are getting their campaigns off the ground on Friday and Saturday.

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