Shillong Lajong FC will play with  Minerva Punjab FC in the I-League Tomorrow in polo

Shillong, Nov 22: The  Shillong Lajong FC will play host to I-League defending champions, Minerva Punjab FC on 23rd November, Friday, at the JN Stadium in Shillong at 5PM in the Hero I-League 2018-19 season. The tickets for the match will be available at The Mobile Centre Police Bazar and SSA Counter in Polo Ground.

The Reds are back home after playing three consecutive away matches against Indian Arrows, Gokulam Kerala and Churchill Brothers Goa. The outcome from these matches was disappointing as they failed to collect points.

Prangki Buam, Skipper Samuel Lalmuanpuia and Samuel Kynshi found the back of the net in the away matches while at home Mahesh Singh and Rakesh Pradhan were on the scoresheet.

Shillong Lajong started the I-League campaign with one win and one loss at home, and Coach Alison Kharsyntiew wants the team to play good attacking football and convert the chances created in front of goal on Friday against Minerva Punjab.

Speaking ahead of the match Coach Alison said, “I am happy with the performance of the boys, but some silly mistakes in the defence have cost us the games but on Friday it will be a different game.”

When asked about the team’s lack of physicality in comparison to other teams due to unavailability of foreigners; the coach said, “For that we just have to move the ball fast, the more we hold on to the ball it gives the opposition more chance to press and take advantage of their physical advantage.”

On the other hand, captain Samuel Lalmuanpuia talked about the club’s away form and said, “Compared to last season, even though we are without foreigners we are performing very good. In the ground, there are no young boys. You just have to fight for every ball.”

“Lions never always sleep, at some point, they will wake up. Like every other good club, we too will bounce back and hopefully, it will be on Friday’s game. If we manage to get three points, confidence will be back within the boys and we will start getting the results”, he then added.

The away team arrived in Shillong on Tuesday after playing the game against Gokulam Kerala in Kozhikode. The Punjab side lost this game by one goal.

In their other matches, Minerva Punjab defeated Aizawl FC by 2-1, drew against Churchill Brothers 0-0 and lost to newcomers, Real Kashmir FC by one goal. So far, Lancine Toure scored two goals for Minerva Punjab.

Even though the defending champions lost many of their key players from the previous season, they have built a strong line up for the current I-League season. They signed Lancine Toure, Kouassi Alexandre, Emeka Njoku and Joseph Edafe and retained William Opoku.

During the pre-season, they played the Punjab Super League and won the league after defeating Punjab Police in the finals.

Talking about their poor start to the campaign, Minerva coach Paul Munster said, “As the defending champions, we didn’t have the desired start. Having a completely new team, we had to start from scratch. So, it is not good enough and the next game is a must win game for us especially for the new players coming in. But eventually ,you have to win each game.”

Munster spoke highly of the young Lajong boys and said, “I like what I have seen of Lajong on TV. They have young local players who are very hungry and willing to do well as they want to go higher. It was interesting to see such an approach with a club fielding all local players.”


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