A last-gasp goal by Nigerian import Daniel Bidemi helped Shillong Lajong FC stun Federation Cup champions East Bengal 1-0 in a 15th-round I-League encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Shillong on Saturday.
The defeat marked the second successive loss for East Bengal, both to promoted teams. They lost 1-2 to Pune FC at home on Tuesday.
As for Lajong FC coach Stanly Rozario, the monkey is off his back for now. “Personally it’s one win I would cherish for a long time. It’s really a relief to get back to winning ways, especially at home, but we are still in the relegation zone. So we need to continue playing well,” said East Bengal-discard Rozario from Shillong.
Lajong FC now have 13 points from 15 matches but they are still in the drop zone, lying 13th in the table. East Bengal, with 20 points from 15 matches, are seventh.
Although Ghanaian striker Yusif Yakubu was flown in well before the match, he was not given a start and was introduced in the second half. He supplanted Budhiram Tudu while Alvito D’Cunha replaced Poibang Poshna as an attacking midfielder.
Both sides took some shots on goal, but could not get the winner until Bidemi struck in the 88th minute. A long cross from James Gbilee saw the Nigerian side-volleying the ball into the net. Bidemi was adjudged Man of the Match.
Chirag take on Churchill
Chirag United take on Churchill Brothers in a crucial 15th round encounter on Sunday. While Chirag were pasted 1-5 by Mohun Bagan in their last game on Thursday, the defending champions were stunned 4-1 by Mahindra United at home on Wednesday. Sunday’s game is of importance to both teams.