SHILLONG, Mar 26: TRAU FC of Manipur claimed a crucial three points against Langsning FC in the first North East derby of the Second Division League 2018 with a 1-0 victory at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Monday.
The TRAU goal came against the run of play after Nelson Kom headed in a corner that clipped the crossbar and came down over the line in the 44th minute.
Langsning started the game with four changes, with PoibiangPohshna making his return from injury, while DonborlangNongkynrih and RonaldkydonLyngdohNonglait, who had both appeared before as substitutes, finding their place in the starting XI. Coach HeringShangpliang also opted to switch goalkeepers, bringing on FrolicsonDkhar in place of Surjay Kumar Pariyar. Other than Ivory Coast defender LancineToure, all the other 10 Langsning players were from Meghalaya.
Earlier Sandeep Singh, a former ShillongLajong player, received a yellow card for fouling KynsaiborLhuid within three minutes of the start of the match.
It was the visitors who had the first real clear chance of the derby, with a cross by Malemnganba Meitei headed over the bar by an unmarked ReisangmeiVashum in the 15th minute.
After that, however, Langsning really made their presence felt, with Kitboklang Pale denied in the 23rd minute after his shot clattered into the head of TRAU defender Jonette Phillipe. Three minutes later Pale was in the thick of the action again, this time stealing the ball away from a defender, but his shot went just over the horizontal.
A double fumble by TRAU custodian Tajuddin, who failed to collect DibinroyNongspung’s tight-angled shot on the half hour almost yielded a goal for the hosts and their 39th minute chance was even better, but ultimately wasted. A TRAU defender passed the ball back for the goalie, but the touch was not strong and that gave a chasing Nongspung a chance. He won the ball, but his pass back to Lhuid was off and the No. 20 could not get to the ball.
TRAU then scored and that became the first time that Langsning were in a trailing position in this year’s Second Division. They would go on to challenge TRAU relentlessly in the second half, but though they created a fair number of good opportunities, not least a BrolingtonWarlarpih free-kick in stoppage time that almost snuck through the defence, TRAU defended deep in order to preserve their slender lead and came out the victors.
Langsning will now play away at Jamshedpur FC reserves on April 4, while TRAU host Mohammedan Sporting the following day in Imphal.