An intriguing and highly competitive lower half clash in the I-League between Shillong Lajong and Minerva Punjab ended 2-2. Phrangki Buam and Allen Nongbri put the hosts 2-0 ahead only to have the lead annulled by goals from William Opoku and Philip Njoku.
With this draw, Shillong Lajong climb to 9th in the standings while Minerva Punjab stay 7th.
The visitors began the game on a positive note with numerous crosses and floated balls into the danger area but the Lajong defence somehow managed to hang on. Youngster Phrangki Buam scored in an unlikely scenario as he capitalized on to a weak back-pass from Deepak Devrani and curled the ball in from the edge of the box beyond the reach of Arshdeep Singh at goal.
Minerva Punjab pushed hard for the equaliser and were vulnerable at the back. The Shillong Lajong players broke on to counter as Kynshi set up Allen Nongbri who slotted it past Singh with a calm finish to make it 2-0.
The rest of the game was one-way traffic with Minerva dominating the proceedings and were awarded accordingly with goals from William Opoku and Philip Njoku to steal a point.
Sportskeeda brings to you the top three talking points from the exciting tie:
#1 Unstable Shillong Lajong defence
The Reds from Shillong continued their poor show at the back as they have now conceded 14 goals in just 6 games in the season so far. That's more than 2 goals conceded per game on average.
Shillong Lajong were soaking in the pressure right from the 1st minute of the game and were struggling to keep the Minerva forwards at bay. There was an immense lack of communication between the Lajong keeper Neithovilie Chalieu and the back-four as the local lad kept on coming off his line every time to collect the incoming balls, but failed to catch hold of them on few occasions.
An early barging on to Njoku in the final minutes of the first half allowed Opooku to strike the ball into an empty net. The equalising goal in the 75th minute was also a result of a series of defensive lapses. Edafe's attempted ball kept on bouncing off the Red Shirts and fell to Njoku who blasted it home to make it 2-2.
Alison Kharsyntiew needs to work hard on his boys at the back to make the defence even tighter and resolute. The young Lajong side has been doing everything from attack to patient possession play but have not been able to keep the opposition strikers at bay.