MAWKHAR SC STARTED their Shillong Premier League 2022 campaign with a notable upset, holding Rangdajied United to a 1-1 draw.
Rangdajied, who have previously played in the I-League and won the SPL back in 2013, were the better team on paper but failed to create enough chances as heavy rains in Shillong caused some water-splashing conditions on the MFA Turf.
Mawkhar ran a tight ship defensively throughout the game which mostly held up. In fact it was them who drew first blood about 26 minutes into the game. A brilliant display of dribbling skills from Pynshailang Kharduit of Mawkhar SC who single handedly took the ball from the edge of the box, getting through two defenders, then fooling a third defender twice to send a peach of a cross to the goalmouth where Bansanbha Khongsdam was perfectly positioned to tap it past the goalkeeper.
The goal sent Mawkhar SC's fans, who had assembled in the ground despite the bad weather, into a frenzy of cheers. But their joy was short-lived as just a couple of minutes later Chesterpaul Lyngdoh, a national circuit regular who has played for top flight clubs like Chuirchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan, was allowed enough space inside the box to sidestep the entire Mawkhar defence and find the net with expert ease.
An intense back and forth continued throughout the second half but neither team managed to get a breakthrough.
This results marks a second major upset on the very first round of SPL 2022; the first being Shillong Lajong's shock loss to Langsning FC on Thursday.
Rangdajied United, who have built up a stronger side for this season, would have liked to pick up a win to start their campaign. A draw is a disappointing result for the Mawngap-Mawphlang based side. However, for Mawkhar SC, a point against a well known side is a signal of good things to come.
Mawkhar will be in the hunt to register their first win when they take on currently bottom-placed Malki SC on 24th June. Rangdajied, meanwhile, will have their work cut out for them when they face Ryntih SC on the 25th.
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