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Shillong Lajong beat Minerva Punjab

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 Jan 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Shillong, Jan 21: Local boy Rupert Nongrum and new Cameroonian striker Aser Dipanda Dicka scored a goal each as Shillong Lajong FC registered their first points with a 2-1 victory over Minerva Punjab FC here on Saturday.
Loveday Okechukwu reduced the margin for Punjab moments before the fil whistle.
It was Shillong's first home match of the tourment and they used their advantage to jump up to the seventh position in the points table.
Lajong started with as many as eight Under-22 players and only two foreigners -- Dicka and Japanese midfielder Yuta Kinowaki -- but started strongly.
Rupert scored his first I-League goal in the 17th minute. He was later rewarded for a fine performance with the Man of the Match award.
The midfielder met a well directed long ball with an outstretched right boot. Unmarked, he sped towards the edge of the opposition box after neatly collecting the ball and fired a low strike that beat Minerva goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh.
Miscommunication between Dicka and captain Nim Dorjee Tamang saw Lajong miss a good chance to double the lead just five minutes later, but that really did not make much difference as they continued to pile on the pressure.
A few minutes either side of the 30-minute mark Dicka had two headers just miss the mark, but he made good on this promising display to convert a chance 10 minutes later.
The second goal was scored in the 42nd minute when Minerva defender Loveday Okechukwu failed to clear the ball and the resulting skewed clearance fell nicely into the path of Dicka who did the rest.
Punjab made a couple of attacking substitutions at the start of the second half and Minerva enjoyed greater ball possession, though Lajong faced up to the pressure and held off the marauding opposition. Loveday made up for his first half mistake by netting with a fierce shot in the second minute of added time to reduce Punjab's deficit.
Lajong's next game is against Mumbai FC on January 28.
In Pune, Churchill Brothers FC recorded their first points with a 1-1 draw away at DSK Shivajians.
The home side took the lead in the first-half, on 21 minutes through Korean forward Kim Song Yong. But a late 86th-minute header from Adil Ahmed Khan levelled the scoreline. IANS

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