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Shillong Premier League: Langsning blow the lead twice to Nangkiew Irat

LANGSNING FC SQUANDERED an opportunity to take an early lead in the Shillong Premier League title race, dropping two points to Nangkiew Irat SC in a 2-2 draw.

Langsning, who defeated defending champions Shillong Lajong in the first round, marking a good start to the campaign, looked in control in the early phases of the game. But their breakthrough came in the 40th minute when a free kick from well outside the box was perfectly placed into the goalmouth by Kynsaibor Lhuid. It was Ronney Kharbudon who moved in from the left to put the finisher on it from close range, giving the SPL 2018 champions the lead they needed.

But Nangkiew Irat managed to draw even just before the half-time whistle blew. An amazing overlapping sprint on the right wing by Rapborlang Marwein saw him shake off a defender and pass the ball impeccably into the box. It was Chanmitre Thma who sent the ball past the keeper, setting up Lambor Nongsiej to tap into the net unhindered.

The contest remained as tight as ever in the second half as Nangkiew Irat fought hard to shake off their opening day loss to Mawlai SC and get back in good form. But once again it was a set piece that tipped the scales back in Langsning FC's favour.

This time, the free kick was much closer to the box; dead in the middle, and in scoring range. 3 players lined up behind the ball; Kynsaibor Lhuid who had taken the free kick that led to a goal in the first half, Henry Marboh and captain Kitboklang Pale. But it was Lhuid who took the set piece again, this time sending it low through a tiny gap on the side of the six man wall that stood in front of him. The ball went into the farthest edge of the goal, and the keeper had no chance to get into it. After the first half assist, Kynsaibor had put his own name on the scorecard with a beautiful free kick in the 71st minute.

But the joy remained short lived for Langsning. Just minutes before the regulation time ran out, Nangkiew Irat had a corner. Defender Batskhem Thangkhiew, one of the frontmen for Langsning, tried to head the flag kick out for another corner but the ball glanced his head, kept a low flight and dipped below the crossbar on the far end leaving the keeper dumbfounded. It was an unintentional, unfortunate error, but it was costly nonetheless; as Langsning FC had to settle for just one point from this match instead of all three.

For now, though, Langsning FC sit at the top of the table with 4 points from 2 matches. But the team that left the pitch with a smile was Nangkiew Irat SC, who were saved from what looked like certain defeat but the first own goal of the season.

Langsning FC will face Mawlai SC next on June 27th, who have demonstrated great form so far, winning their first game and taking a lead over Shillong Lajong in the second match before it was abandoned due to bad weather. Nangkiew Irat, meanwhile, are set to play Lajong on the 28th.

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