AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: A late goal by midfielder Rupert Nongrum enabled Shillong Lajong to edge AIFF Academy, Navi Mumbai by a slender 2-1 margin in the penultimate round of matches in the Under-19 I-League Final Phase at the JRD Tata Stadium, Jamshedpur.
The AIFF colts, hot on the heels of league leaders Tata Football Academy, were left to rue missed chances as they saw their title aspirations evaporate over the course of the ninety minutes.
Shillong Lajong, who came into the game on the back of a 1-2 loss to Tata Football Academy in the previous round, opened the scoring in the 16th minute off a corner after defender Nim Dorjee Tamang’s towering header from six yards out sailed into the roof of the net.
The AIFF colts worked their way back into the game in the 33rd minute after the referee pointed to the spot following a hand-ball incident inside the box. Bidyananda Singh stepped up to take the resultant penalty and converted with relative ease, sending the keeper the wrong way.
Lajong grabbed the all-important winning goal in the 77th minute following a quick counterattack which saw the AIFF defence outnumbered by opposition attackers and Rupert Nongrum was at hand to place the ball into the far corner to make it 2-1.
The loss effectively brought an end to the AIFF Regional Academy’s title credentials and with two wins and two losses from their four games - the team’s tally of six points now matched by both Shillong Lajong and Sesa Goa.
With the final round of games left to go and leaders Tata Football Academy up to ten points in the following their 2-0 win in the day’s other fixture, the focus is now on a four-way battle for a second place finish.
Posted on : Sunday April 27, 2014