I-League 2017-18: Shillong Lajong edge past Gokulam FC to start campaign on winning note
A brilliant header by Deory to poke a long free-kick taken by Lajong skipper Lalmuanpuia Deory into the goal breached the Gokulam defence.
Shillong: Shillong Lajong defeated Gokulam FC by a slender 1-0 margin in their home fixture of the Hero I-League on Monday.
While Lajong played an offensive formation of 4-3-2-1, Gokulam played a rather defensive 4-3-3.
Eventually, the hosts garnered all three points in their season opener, thanks to the 76th-minute goal by Alen Deory.
Both teams played their parts brilliantly in an electrifying first half that saw Lajong playing offensive and Gokulam exhibiting a rather defensive play.
Neither of the teams had consistent ball possession and both teams were able to snatch it from each other, making the ball juggle from one goalpost to the other.
There were a lot of attempts by both sides but none was able to penetrate the goal with the ball either getting deflected by the goalkeeper or overshooting the post.
The two most important attempts taken in the first half were both by Lajong skipper Samuel Lalmuanpuia.
At the end of a goalless first half, the Shillong audience were left rather disappointed.
The second half of the game got rougher and serious fouls were committed with players stumbling upon each other and the tackling getting fiercer.
In the second half, Lajong managed to maintain a better possession of almost 60 percent.
There was one substitution made by both teams in the second half. While Lajong's Kynsailang Khongsit was substituted by Samuel J Lyngdoh Kynshi, Gokulam replaced Arif Shaikh with Usman Ashik.
It was a good game for Gokulam till the 76th minute. However, a brilliant header by Deory to poke a long free-kick taken by Lajong skipper Lalmuanpuia into the goal breached the Gokulam defence.
After conceding the goal, Gokulam went all guns blazing to score an equaliser but were unable to do so.
Gokulam tried to make the most of the four minutes extra time but could not breach Lajong's defences.
Deory was awarded the "Hero of the match".
In front of a strong home support, Lajong set off their Hero I-League journey with a clinical three-pointer.
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