Football I-League

I-League Preview: Shillong Lajong FC vs Gokulam Kerala FC

The I-League returns to Shillong today as Shillong Lajong FC are ready to host the newbies in Indian football and debutant in the Hero I-League, Gokulam Kerala FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at 8 PM, IST.

Shillong’s pride, the reds, are all set for kicking-off the new season in style taking full advantage of playing at home, hoping to secure all the three points.

Lajong’s assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew seemed very aware of the debutant’s potential, but was confident on his team’s mental and physical strength which, he said would make them the better team on field today.

Alison who was present at the pre-match press conference said, “Gokulam is a new side in the I-League and we are sure they are going to give their 100% and a strong fight in their first ever I-League match.”

“First game is always important for every club and we have faith in the players. As a team, we need to be confident and perform well. We will go all out for 3-points.” he added.

The reds would rely very much on the services of experienced foreigner duo of South Korean Juho Oh and Equatorial Guinea’s Lawrence Doe. “We have two senior defenders, Juho and Doe. We also have our young dynamic defenders. All of them are good defenders, Alison said.

“But the Defence will be stronger if they work together as a cohesive unit. If they can do that then our defence will be strong,” he said, mentioning the strength of team play.

Lajong fans will have the chance to see what their new foreign signings Daniel Odafin, Aiman and Koffi are made of. Daniel would be expected to master the midfield, while Aiman and Koffi would be in charge of converting the chances made by the midfield into goals.

Lajong’s young guns from the Academy, who have the experience of playing in the I-League before, like Redeem Tlang, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Shaibor Kharpan and Hardycliff Nongbri will be entrusted with the task of making sure their team grabs all the points at home today, with a solid performance.

Gokulam, who have made lot of preparations coming into the league would not be going to end up with no points from the opener, who would be hoping for at least 1-point from their very experienced opponents.

On speaking to the media at the training ground in Shillong, Gokulam Head Coach, Bino George said, “It is very cold in Shillong and we are trying to acclimatise to the climate.”

“We are set for the match as the team has worked very hard during the preseason and have trained well.”

“We are expecting a tough game on Monday against Shillong Lajong but we are confident in our boys and we will give a good fight,” he concluded.

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Ajmal Rahman

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