I-League 2018-19: Shillong Lajong 1-3 East Bengal – 5 talking points
East Bengal registered their second victory in the I-League 2018-19 campaign as they comfortably defeated Shillong Lajong at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Shillong on Wednesday. East Bengal now climbed to the top of the table with six points from two matches.
The red and gold won their first two I-League matches for the first time since 2010, in the first season of British coach Trevor Morgan. Now, under Spanish coach Alejandro Menendez, East Bengal repeated the feat, hoping to win the elusive title.
Six points in the first two away games is something to cheer about. The motley crowd that was present in the stadium, was simply delighted after the match. If Enrique Esqueda stole the limelight in the first match, it was Jobby Justin who went on to become a hero in the second.
East Bengal got their lead in the 12th minute. From Lalrindika Ralte’s free-kick, Justin jumped above everyone to head the ball into the back of the net. Justin got his second from a counter attack when he drove home Esqueda’s lofted pass into the bottom corner.
Rakesh Pradhan pulled one back for Shillong in the 71st minute from a well-taken corner of Samuel. But three minutes later, Bidyashagar Singh utilised a mistake from Dakemi and increased his team’s lead.
Lajong, will an all-Indian side, was boosted by their first win against Aizawl FC. But now they have to go back again in the drawing board.
Let us look at the major points of the match:
#5 Two wins in the North-East must relieve East Bengal
The north-eastern part of the country has always been a worry for all the I-League teams. Amid the low temperature, high altitude and raucous fans, the task of collecting three points is not so easy.
East Bengal though made it look simple this time. Last year, the red and gold could’ve won the I-League, but a 2-2 draw dented all their hopes. They have tasted success at this ground only a few times. So the task was not easy for the team and their new coach.
However, a two-goal lead in the first half had all but secured East Bengal’s fortune this time. Though there were some anxious moments throughout the match, a win was not denied.