I-League 2018-19: Jobby Justin Strikes brace sinks Lajong

East Bengal convincingly beat an inexperienced Shillong Lajong side 3-1 to go to the top of the league standings.

Goals from Jobby Justin and Bidyasagar Singh helped East Bengal to its second away win in a row against Shillong Lanjong.   -  I-League Media

Kolkata giant East Bengal (QEB) recorded a second successive away win as it emerged 3-1 winners over Shillong Lajong at the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium in Shillong, Meghalaya.

In game eight of the 12th Hero I-League, East Bengal rode on a first half-brace by Kerala striker Jobby Justin and a second-half strike from Bidyasagar Singh to thwart a spirited Shillong side, which fought back in the second half through Rakesh Pradhan's strike in the 71st minute.

Shillong’s football remained attractive, dominating and flowing, but the inexperience of having nine under-22 players in its eleven showed up eventually, after a 2-0 win against Aizawl FC at home last week in its opening game. East Bengal go on top of the league standings with this win, having beaten Neroca 2-0 in Game Week 1.

Alison Kharsyntiew, the Shillong coach, began with an unchanged starting XI while QEB’s Spanish coach Alejandro Menendez Garcia chose to begin with Brandon Vanlalremdika in midfield in place of Yomi Longwah, who had started in the opening encounter.

Shillong looked dangerous in the opening exchanges as captain Samuel Lalmuanpuia’s free-kick from outside the box, ricocheted off the woodwork with goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar soundly beaten.

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However, it was the visiting team that took an early lead against the run of play. From Lalrindika Ralte’s left-footed free-kick, Kerala striker Jobby Justin leapt up to connect with a perfectly-placed header to beat Shillong goalkeeper Neithovilie Chalieu all ends up.

The goal spurred the Shillong boys even further as they put their opponents under sustained pressure with a wave of attacks. Samuel Lyngdoh’s crisp strike from 25 yards out in the 23rd minute was blocked by Dagar and captain Lalmuanpuia’s punch after Kamalpreet had given the ball away inside the QEB half, were notable in this period. There was a spell when Shillong forced three corners in the space of 15 mins but could not find the equaliser.

It was then in the 41st minute when Jobby helped QEB double the lead from a counter attack. Mexican Enrique Esqueda's attempted cross into the box was not dealt properly by the Shillong defence which fell for Jobby as he volleyed past Neitho.

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After the break, Shillong carried on with its attacking forays as Samuel Lyngdoh spurned multiple chances to score for the home team. Brandon and Laldanmawia Ralte also went close for East Bengal at the opposite end.

In the 71st minute, Shillong got a goal back when left wing-back Rakesh Pradhan rose to connect a perfect header off a Hnamte corner. Shillong’s joy was shortlived however as QEB struck again a couple of minutes later through substitute Bidyasagar Singh.

Shillong’s Dameki, mis-timed back pass inside his own half gifted the ball to Bidyasagar who raced towards the goal and finished with a sublime right-footed curler.

Shillong kept on pressing as Samuel Lyngdoh’s freakish shot from distance was tipped over the bar by Dagar. Alison even brought on Bonison to replace Hnamte in the 91st minute, but it was QEB’s day as it left the field with full three points.

 

Match Results:

East Bengal  (Jobby Justin 12’ 41’ , Bidyasagar Singh 73’) 3 -1 ( Rakesh Pradhan 71’) Shillong Lajong FC