Shillong Lajong FC host Mohun Bagan at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Friday, March 8 in what will be their final game in a disappointing I-League campaign. While Shillong Lajong FC are facing certain relegation finishing bottom of the 11-team pile, Mohun Bagan could hope most for a fifth-place finish. The game is scheduled for a 5pm IST kick-off.
Hosts Shillong Lajong FC who decided to go with a team comprising of their young academy players without any foreign recruit have lost 14 out of their 19 games having conceded whopping 53 goals in a forgettable campaign.
The visitors have also had to endure seven losses in their 19 games and in what will aggrieve their legion of die-hard supporters more, have conceded more goals than they have scored. Even a change of coach mid-stream could not prevent what will a disappointing season for the Green and Maroons.
Mohun Bagan won the first-leg encounter between the two sides back in December last year through goals from Japanese midfielder Yuta Kinowaki and Ugandan forward Henry Kisseka, however, both will not be part of the squad on Friday.
Mohun Bagan coach Khalid Jamil gave an insight into his side’s thinking and the mood in the Mohun Bagan camp going on match-day eve saying, “I am satisfied I have given everyone a chance to play. It is the last match but after this, we have Super Cup so we are preparing for it.”
“Lajong’s Indian players have played very well but they lacked experience. I haven’t made any change. I just wanted to give every player a chance. We are trying to give our best and can’t take it lightly. It’s a difficult match for us tomorrow.”
The hosts have nothing to lose and everything to gain really, after a humbling campaign. Coach Alison Kharsymtiew preferred to look at the positives sharing during the pre-game presser, “It was a big challenge for the boys this season, and for me, as a coach to guide them and mentor them and encourage them because they are the future of Indian football.”
“There will be a few changes in this squad and as I said, we are going to play and try to win and perform well tomorrow, even though we are relegated.”