Shillong: Shillong Lajong capped off a fantastic end to 2019 by being crowned champions of the second edition of the Meghalaya State League by winning the final over arch rivals Rangdajied United 3-0 on penalties after extra time ended goalless at the Teilang Phawa Stadium in Khliehriat today.
The close nature of the title match was fitting for a tournament that has provided plenty of entertainment since it began on 27th November.
Rangdajied’s Stephanson Pale was named man-of-the-match for his solid performance during the games but Lajong goalkeeper Neithovilie Chalieu was the hero in the penalty shootout after keeping out two spot kicks.
Regulation time saw plenty of chances for both sides and the 8,000-strong crowd were eager to see a goal but Rangdajied were excellent in defence, while their forwards were a little reluctant to take shots. Lajong’s forwards were not so reticent but could not find the mark.
Twenty minutes of tense extra time failed to separate the sides but it was Lajong who could celebrate joyously after Naorem Mahesh Singh found the back of the net with the last penalty.
As champions Lajong were awarded Rs 5 lakh, with Rs 3 lakh going to the runners-up.
Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh was the chief guest and Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla was guest of honour. They distributed the medals, cheques and winners’ trophy.
This was the 50th match of the MSL, which has been played in four venues across the state and involving 21 top clubs.