Langsning FC gave up an excellent opportunity to go to the top in a Shillong Premier League standings when they were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Mawkhar SC in the 35th match of the season at Third Ground, Polo, here today.
Langsning had beaten Mawkhar 3-1 in the final match of the first leg on July 27.
Today, both goals were scored via the penalty spot, first by Shano Tariang in the 33rd minute for Langsning before Mawkhar’s Lyngketlut Myrchiang equalised in the 69th. This was the third time that Mawkhar have held a top-three side, having previously drawn with Rangdajied United FC and Mawlai SC.
Coming into today’s game, Langsning were second with 17 points, while Mawkhar were at the bottom with 2. A win would have taken Langsning above Mawlai (19 points), though the latter have games in hand.
Mawkhar were missing several players either through injury or suspension while the Langsning management took no chances and fielded a full-strength squad, though the players looked less than sparkling.
In fact, it was Mawkhar who had the majority of the chances but scoring has been a problem for them throughout the season and that continued today.
Justerwell Tham and Aibanraplang Dohling were both in the thick of the action and took their chances but were denied by the Langsning defenders and goalkeeper Frolicson Dkhar.
At the other end, Figo Syndai, Tariang and Kitboklang Pale were the danger men but it was not until the latter was tripped in the box by the outstretched leg of a Mawkhar defender that Langsning got into the lead, which was accomplished after Tariang sent Mawkhar keeper Banshanskhem Kharsyntiew the wrong way with the penalty.
A neat little through ball by Pale saw Syndai score in the 50th minute but the assistant referee raised his flag for offside.
Mawkhar demonstrated that their young bunch of players have plenty of talent by getting into good positions but they also showed their lack of experience in converting those chances into goals.
Nevertheless, when Ronney Kharbudon fouled Bansanbha Khongsdam in the box with a wild swipe, Myrchiang made no mistake from the spot and equalised proceedings.
Langsning appeared a little rattled after that and made a couple of silly mistakes but, while still aggressive, Mawkhar were not inclined to concede again and kept plenty of men back in defence.
There were a few late chances for both sides, with Tariang nailing a shot straight to Kharsyntiew in the 79th minute. The goalkeeper spilled the ball but managed to gather it up again before Pale could get to it. In stoppage time, Pale took a short free-kick which Kynsaibor Lhuid then fired at goal. The ball clipped a defender and then struck the upright, much to Langsning’s frustration.
Mawkhar countered after this and Restorewell Marbaniang found himself in open space on the right flank. He took an accurate shot that was heading for goal but Dkhar flung himself to his right and palmed the ball away.
Tomorrow, seventh-placed Malki SC (4 points) will face leaders Mawlai SC (19). The two clubs met on 9 July when Mawlai were 4-0 winners.