Shillong / Mapusa: Shillong Lajong FC failed to convert the home advantage to a win against Dempo SC, but managed to hold the defending champions goalless in the 16th round of the I-League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday.
Desmond Bulpin’s men were desperately looking for a win against the Goa giants. Lajong had earlier drawn with Sporting Clube de Goa in Goa.
Lajong started with more ball possession compared to Armando Colaco’s side and came close to scoring on a few occasions. However, luck was clearly not on their side as they failed to convert the opportunities.
In the 25th minute, Lajong could have taken the lead when Lalchuanmawia’s cross found Friday Gbeneme in an advantageous position. However, the former Mumbai FC striker failed to convert the sitter.
Earlier, the visitors had their chance to break the hearts of the home crowd in the 15th minute, but Samir Naik placed the ball wide off the goal.
Bulpin made three changes in the second half bringing in Jacob Lalrawngbawla for Lalramluaha in the 46th minute, Rennedy Singh for Ebi Sukore in the 61st and Boithang Hoakip replaced Jibon Singh in the 79th minute. Rennedy almost made an immediate impact when he came close to scoring in the 62nd minute.
Lajong’s game picked up a notch as they went all out for the lead, but the reigning champions countered aptly.
Lajong defender Lalchhuanmawia was awarded the man of the match.
In Mapusa, Churchill Brothers continued their fine run, scoring a goal in each half to get the better of United Sikkim FC 2-1 at the Duler Stadium.
The win helped Churchill Brothers take their points tally to 34 from 14 matches and enjoy a clear four-point lead at the top of the table with a match in hand against East Bengal, who are placed second with 30 points.