What next for Shillong Lajong after relegation to 2nd division?
Shillong Lajong a team full of youngster is at the bottom of the table after losing in a do or die match against Aizawl FC in Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. This loss also led Lajong to be relegated to the 2nd division of the I- league.
In their last match against Aizawl FC, Lajong was beaten by four goals to one, coming from Ansumana Kromah (40′, 83′), Lalkhawpuimawia (81′) and Isak Vanlalruatfela (89′) for Aizawl FC. Meanwhile, Lajong had a late consolation goal from Donboklang in the dying minute of the game.
Lajong which began this season with a win against Aizawl FC couldn’t keep their winning streak as they had only three wins from all the nineteen games and stuck at 11 points, which are 6 points less than the Minerva Punjab which stands at the second last position. Thus with this defeat, Lajong will be relegated in the I-League 2nd division after eight years of being in the I-league.
Lajong which is the only team from Meghalaya to feature in the I- League, and also the first team from the northeast to be in the I-League will be a major setback to football lovers in the state, as the team won’t be featured in the next I-League. Also as no other Meghalaya team feature in this year 2nd Division I -League, this means that there won’t be any other team of the state in the next league.
So with no other teams for Meghalaya to play in both the tournament, it will be the first time in history that no team from the Abode of clouds will feature in the national tournament. Langsning which feature in the last 2nd division I-league didn’t participate in this year tournament.
Lajong exit from the tournament may also be a silver lining for them as they can analyze how to take the team further which will strengthen the team when they will be back on the 2nd Division I-league. However, Lajong fielding an all Indian Squad, mainly boys from the Academy proved quite beneficial as such tournaments help them be more confident and polish their skill on their journey as a professional player.
So with exactly nine months on their hands, it would surely give ample time for them to come back stronger, with the same players or any new signing. However looking form the current scenario, Lajong really needs some new signing who can boost the team and pave the way for a strong team which can survive such tournaments as I- League or the 2nd division League.
Lajong may exit from the tournament, but they believe that they will come back stronger is true. They can do it once, then why not the second time.