Shillong Lajong went five points clear of Bengaluru FC as they recorded a 3-2 win over DSK Shivajians at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune. Thangboi Singto’s men are now fourth with 23 points, only three points adrift of Mohun Bagan.

The home team started the game with the majority of the possession but it was the visitors who drew first blood in the 14th minute. Isaac Vanmalsawma’s clinical finish gave Lajong the lead, the assist coming from Bipin Singh.

It was the turn of DSK to attack as first Shane McFaul missed from a Holicharan Narzary’s pass and Sanju Pradhan then hit the crossbar, only for the rebound to fall to Seityasen Singh who fluffed his lines.

Rupert Nongrum then burst through on goal and had only Subrata Paul to beat but the DSK keeper held firm as Lajong went into the break a goal up. Nongrum was then taken off as Singto brought on Redeem Tlang for the winger. Isaac’s corner was met by Tlang who headed it towards goal only for 18-year old Samuel Lalmuanpuia to turn inside the box and score with his right foot.

As DSK made a double change with Pranjal Bhumij and Lallianzuala Changte coming in for Pradhan and Juan Quero, Milan Singh pulled one back for the hosts after connecting with Narzary’s cross.

Five minutes later, the turnaround was complete as Bhumij met Seityasen’s cross, capitalising on a gap in communication between Nim Dorjee Tamang and Vishal Kaith as the game entered the last half hour with the teams all square at 2-2.

‘Samuela’ as Lajong’s teenage forward is also known, looked to extend his tally with a powerful shot which Paul dealt with expertly. DSK could have completed the comeback only for the crossbar to come to the rescue of the visitors who had the last word on the night, avenging a 2-1 loss suffered at home earlier this season.

That loss had halted a four-game winning streak but Tlang the super sub met a cross from Samuel Shadap with his head and scored in the last minute of added time. DSK stay eighth with 14 points, three points ahead of Mumbai FC.

In the other late kickoff at the Cooperage, Oscar Bruzon’s first game in charge of Mumbai FC ended in a 0-0 stalemate as Churchill Brothers gained a valuable away point at the home of their closest relegation rivals.

Mumbai have 11 points from 15 games, six behind the Goan club with three games left for each team.

Brief Scores:

  • DSK Shivajians 2 (Milan Singh, Pranjal Bhumij) lose to Shillong Lajong 3 (Isaac Vanmalsawma, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Redeem Tlang)
  • Mumbai FC 0 drew with Churchill Brothers 0