Shillong Lajong and Chennai City played out a goalless draw in an I-League match at the JN Stadium in Shillong on Friday. It was Lajong who had the upper hand in both the halves with some dominating football but failed to find the back of the net.
Lajong made two changes in their starting line-up as Alen Deory replaced captain Samuel Lalmuanpuia and Kenstar Kharsong was handed his debut in place of experienced defender Juho Oh.
It was the home side who were dominating straight from the kick-off as they enjoyed most of the ball possession. Ivory Coast striker Abdoulaye Koffi had the first chance of the game in the third minute mark when Alen’s through ball fell at his feet and he launched his shot, but the ball went straight into the hands of the Chennai City keeper.
Four minutes later Koffi was again in the thick of things as Redeem’s cross from the left found him, but the striker failed to connect well. The inclusion of Alen seemed to be the right move for the Reds as the striker was finding the majority of the ball on the right flank and was allowed to make his blistering runs.
The hosts were enjoying the majority of the possession in the attacking half and were creating chances from set pieces but none of the efforts were threatening enough. Hardy soon went for a long ranger on his own but the ball fell straight into the keeper’s hands. Lajong had some follow up corners, but the Chennai defence was strong enough to clear out the danger.
Laurence then received a yellow card and went into the referee’s book for a foul on Joachim. Lajong started the second half right where they left off. Substitute Samuela’s shot one from distance but his shot went over the post without creating any trouble for CCFC keeper Uros Poljanec.
Koffi then dribbled past three Chennai defenders but failed to keep his shot on target. CCFC too had a few opportunities in the hosts’ box but they didn’t manage to test Lajong’s keeper Phurba who rarely had to make a save.
In the 78th minute Lajong had their best chance of the half. Aiman’s cross from the left was intended for Koffi, but the forward failed to connect and the keeper had to come up with a brilliant save to keep Lajong off scoring.
Seconds later it was Alen Deory who had a brilliant chance to open the scoring, but the forward’s venomous shot hit the bar. The hosts went on an attacking spree looking for a goal in the dying minutes of the game but all their attacks were cleared away by the visitors. Lajong will now host AIFF developmental side Indian Arrows on January 8.