I-League Preview: Shillong Lajong FC vs Sporting Club De Goa
Shillong Lajong FC and Sporting Club De Goa defeated Salgaocar FC and Aizwal FC respectively in their previous encounters.
Shillong 30th January: Shillong Lajong FC will be hosting Sporting Club De Goa in the 4th round of the Hero I-League at the J.N.Stadium, Shillong on 31st January, 2016 at 4:30pm. Both sides will be coming into the game with their respective first victories of the season, in their previous matches against Salgaocar FC and Aizawl FC respectively.
Shillong Lajong’s win over the visiting Salgaocar side came at “the right time” for The Reds as put forward by Lajong coach Thangboi Singto in a press conference ahead of the match here in Shillong. Thangboi added, “It was a collective team effort, which was very tough because they are a technically tough team. We were lucky I would say in some of the phases in the game because they had chances”. A similar story surrounds Sporting Club De Goa who themselves picked up their first win against Aizawl FC which again poses its own back story heading into the game tomorrow.
Shillong Lajong FC have not had their fair share of history against the visiting Goans who have a better head to head record against Lajong but coach Thangboi Singto is eager to pull off another win in home soil. “It has always been difficult to play against Sporting, the history says it also but it’s always good to get a win to create a little bit boost but again saying that Sporting came from Aizawl with a win also so I think it will be an even match. The team that plays the best will have a good result.”
Sporting Club De Goa who struggled at the back end of last season in a deeply contested relegation battle will be looking forward to a better outing this time around. Sporting head coach Mateus Costa said, “From the first match the boys were really good, we stuck to a plan and then things didn’t go our way. The boys are shaping well and what matters is the win we got against Aizawl so here we want to just move on”.
Sporting have some quality players on their ranks and have recently brought experienced Trinidad and Tobago midfield lynchpin Densil Theobald, a player who definitely understands the drastic conditions here in Shillong. Coach Costa says “he will definitely start tomorrow.”
Lajong will look no further than their Brazilian attacking duo of Uilliams Bomfim Souza and Fabio Pena Henrique for inspiration to carry the team to their second win of the league with their chemistry much on display already in the season. Fabio notched up his first goal to help secure The Reds their first win and coach Thangboi Singto will be wanting a more complete performance from the whole team ahead of the tough encounter.
Young starlet Rupert Nongrum who has started all three games on the wings, picked up a slight knock in the last match but will available for the game against Sporting Club De Goa. New Japanese defender Yusuke Yamagata started his first match against Salgoacar and Thangboi has said, “He has settled down nicely and we expect him to do better and perform better tomorrow”. Both the teams have a fully fit squad with no injury concerns.
Shillong Lajong now sit in 6th position with 4 points from 3 games and Sporting Club De Goa have a similar points tally but sitting just above Lajong in 5th position having a better goal difference.
Shillong Lajong coach Thangboi Singto has also called out, “I would like to request the football lovers to all come out, I know the weather is against everybody but the players enjoy playing in big crowd so we request the people to come and support us so we can have a great atmosphere to play football.”