A 76th-minute goal from Alen Deory got Shillong Lajong's I-League campaign off to a winning start against Gokulam Kerala FC on Monday.
Shillong Lajong played an offensive of 4-3-2-1 formation, while Gokulam played rather defensive with a formation of 4-3-3. Eventually, it was the host that garnered all three points in its season opener.
The first half was tightly contested and neither team held onto ball possession for very long. Multiple attempts were made by both the sides but neither was able to find the back of the net. Lajong's captain, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, had two of the best chances of the first half but he could not score.
The second half of the game was very physical and although no serious fouls were committed, many a fierce tackle was deployed as Lajong maintained close to 60 per cent of ball possession.
The game was going well for Gokulam until the 76th minute when Deory scored a header from skipper Lalmuanpuia's long range free-kick.
Gokulam went all guns blazing to score an equaliser but was unable to as Lajong held on to clinch all three points.