Defending champions Mawlai SC  defeated  Nongthymmai SC 2-1 in the SPL, 2023

Shillong, April 12: Defending champions Mawlai SC were given a real fight by Nongthymmai SC but came through as 2-1 victors in their Shillong Premier League 2023 match at the SSA Stadium at First Ground, Polo, here today.

All three goals were scored in the second half, with Dajiedlang Wanshnong (58’) finding the opener for Mawlai, Rabi Hansda (80’) levelling for Nongthymmai and Pynbha Suting (86’) providing the winner to take Mawlai back to the top of the standings.

Mawlai are the first team to 10 points and are unbeaten after four games, while Nongthymmai remain in sixth position with 3 points. This was their fourth defeat in five outings but marks an uptick in form for them nevertheless.

A somewhat testy match saw referee D Ingti brandish the yellow card five times in all (twice for Nongthymmai players and three for Mawlai), while the weather provided even more drama, with wet and dry spells throughout.

Mawlai’s Robert Khongriah had a goal disallowed for offside around 30 minutes into the action and Rabi fired one over the bar after he won a battle with Mawlai defender Arkibor Makhroh five minutes later.

Andyson Lapang of Nongthymmai had arguably the best chance of the first half as he skirted round one defender before taking a shot but his effort was not on target.

Nongthymmai were strong in the first half in their 6-3 defeat to Shillong Lajong FC earlier in the week but flagged badly in the second 45 minutes. This was not the case today and they made Mawlai wait almost an hour into the game before the latter got on the scoreboard.

The goal was thanks to Dajied, who sailed up the middle of the pitch, took a look around for a team mate to pass to before deciding to take the shot himself, which he struck perfectly to the right of Nongthymmai goalkeeper Akash Thapa.

That lifted the reigning champions and they had three more attempts in the following 10 minutes, though none of these were on target.

At the opposite end, Nongthymmai were constantly looking to get the ball to Rabi in the middle or Y Gopi Singh on the left but failed to do so on many occasions. Even when either of the pair did get the ball they were often offside, much to their frustration.

One long ball, by Korbar Dkhar, finally did work. Mawlai goalie Siwel Rymbai charged out as there were no defenders back but Rabi beat him and then just had to nurse the ball into the back of the net for the equaliser.

Parity, however, would last only six minutes. A foul gave Brolington Warlarpih a free-kick, which bounced in front of Akash, who tried to scoop it out of danger. Pynbha, however, was alive to the loose ball and tucked it in for the winning goal in the gathering darkness.

There was still some hectic action in the remaining minutes as Nongthymmai desperately sought another goal but Mawlai held on to take full points in an engaging match.

Tomorrow will witness a huge clash between Rangdajied United FC and Shillong Lajong FC. The two have been neck to neck on points from the start of the tournament and they have each won all three of their matches so far, thereby giving them 9 points each.


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