SHILLONG, Mar 19: Langsning FC’s hopes of a second consecutive victory in the Second Division League were squashed by Bengaluru FC reserves at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Monday, with the match ending 1-1.
Kitboklang Pale scored the opening goal in the 22nd minute after Langsning counterattacked following a Bengaluru charge, with the No. 17’s express pace winning the goal for the home team. The visitors then equalised in the 80th minute through hardworking substitute Lamgoulen Hangshing.
There was just the one change made by Langsning from their victorious 2-1 performance against Chennaiyin FC reserves last week – swapping Ebormi Buam for Nagen Tamang.
The match was slow to begin with, but the 11th minute saw the first real chance for either side when, after a flurry of action from Pale and team mate Kento Sakurai, Tamang shot from inside the box, but Bengaluru goalkeeper Aditya Patra latched onto the ball.
Sakurai, however, had to come off the field around the half hour mark with what looked like a leg injury and he was replaced by U-22 player Ronaldkydon Lyngdoh Nonglait.
Pale scored his second goal in as many matches around halfway through the first 45 minutes. After a slight misunderstanding by Langsning goalie Surjay Pariyar and defender Milancy Khongstia, the former cleared the ball away and it was passed forward to Pale, who stormed into the box unhampered by the trailing defence. Patra came off his line to cut off the angles, but Pale neatly chipped the ball over the custodian and into the net.
Langsning held their own against a rather meek Bengaluru attack that never seemed likely to score.
Then, just before half time Langsning stole the ball away from just outside the Bengaluru box and Fullmoon Mukhim unleashed a strong shot that slammed into the crossbar in the 42nd minute.
The hosts continued to maintain pressure at the start of the second half, with Kynsaibor Lhuid forcing Patra to make a diving save to his right in the 50th minute.
Bengaluru continued to struggle to create scoring opportunities, so the equaliser came as a bit of a shock to the spectators and to the Langsning players, who seemed to think that Hangshing was in an offside position when a cross from the right flank was sent in his direction, but the linesman had no issue and the No. 39 easily tapped the ball into the back of the net from within six yards.
Langsning tried desperately to get another goal, but though they played attractive football comprising quick passes and rapid counterattacks, their lack of finesse in execution cost them full points and they’ll have to make critical improvements before their next fixture on March 26 when they host TRAU FC of Manipur.