Dudu scores a brace with grace, Title hopes on the brink.
Shillong Lajong proved why they are called giant killers as they hold Kingfisher East Bengal FC for 2-2 in Hero I-League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Monday. Dudu Omegbemi(20’, 87’) proved his worth and why he is an integral part of the team as he scored a late equaliser to still have his team the hope for the title. Aibanbha Dohling (49′) and Samuel Lalmuanpuia (69′ Pen.) struck in the second half to gave a lead but was nullified by Dudu by his late match heroics.
Both the teams approached a fast paced game and their intent was visible from the start of the game itself. Both the team exchanged some quick game and wanted to slip through the defence. East Bengal slowly escalated in the game and their both forwards Dudu Omegbemi and Ansumana Kromah came close to scoring in first fifteen minutes.
At the 20th minute, Dudu scored from an header which went past the opposition’s keeper to give Red and Gold’s the lead. Lalramchullova made a cross between the two defenders to give the ball to the Nigerian. Dudu’s header went swiftly inside the net.
At the 25th minute, East Bengal had another chance to soar the scoreline when Ansumana Kromah breached Reds defence and catapulted an shot but was denied by Nidhin Lal.
The home team had an chance in the 36th minute after Redeem Tlang picked the ball up in midfield and played with Samuel Lalmuanpuia. Samuel went inside the box and fired a shot which went wide of the target to still keep the scoreline in visitor’s favour.
After the end of the first half, both teams went out off the ground with visitor’s keeping scoreline in their favour 0-1.
After the break came with a clear intent to score when in the 46th minute, Abdoulaye Koffi fed the ball to Daniel Odafin. Odafin had acres of space before busting his shot off the target.
Four minutes after the break Shillong Lajong came back into the game. Samuel Lalmuanpuia had a set piece, he curled the ball inside the box to Aibanbha Dohling. Aibanbha Dohling rose to the max and took the header which found the back of the net to bring again the Reds back into the game.
East Bengal lost their path and played a sluggish game after conceding the equaliser. On another hand, Saihou Jagne had an few chance but his shots went off the target. Saihou Jagne was a constant threat to the Kolkata giants as he used to pick the ball, make his way through the midfield and would latch a shot towards goal-post.
Constant bombardment awarded the home team in the 69th minute with a penalty kick as Mehtab Singh brought down Samuel Lalmuanpuia with his childish tackle. Samuel took the spot kick and gave his team the lead of 2-1 after they were 0-1 down at one stage. Shillong Lajong bounced back into the game after that goal.
East Bengal kept playing with their feet’s off to score an equaliser. Dudu turned the tables on the 87th minute. Substitute Jobby Justin made a long pass to Liberian Ansumana Kromah. Ansumana Kromah made a diagonal cross to Nigerian Dudu Omegbemi whose header proved to be a hard ball to catch for Nidhin Lal. Dudu Omegbemi scored his seventh of the season in his seventh game and proved his worth to all.
The match ended with the scoreline 2-2 as East Bengal went with their heavy hearts as they were able to score only a point from the encounter and would still have to wait till the end of the season to see who lifts the trophy.
Red and Gold’s are having 30 points in their bag from 17 matches and would be facing NEROCA FC next on March 8. East Bengal can still lift the trophy if Minerva Punjab FC loses to Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan losing to Gokulam Kerala FC.
Shillong Lajong FC finished their campaign with 22 points from 18 matches. They would be watching Gokulam Kerala and Mohun Bagan’s match with fingers crossed because if Gokulam Kerala wins that match then Shillong Lajong would have to play for their place in the upcoming Super Cup.