Vastavam web: Indian Arrows produced an impressive display of possession football with Nongdamba Naorem scoring a peach of a goal in a solo run to provide the icing on the cake in their 3-0 drubbing of Shillong Lajong in an entertaining I-League match here today.The All India Football Federation’s developmental side, made up mostly of the country’s U-17 World Cup squad, completely toyed with their opponents with an overwhelming possession and show of sleek passing en route notching up their second win of the league.Jitendra also became the youngest ever goal scorer in the I-League at 16 years, 6 months and 13 days. The previous youngest was Baoringdao Bodo who was 17 years, 3 months and 18 days old when he scored for Minerva Punjab against Mumbai FC in February this year.
The Arrows, the youngest side in the I-League, played the final half an hour with one-man advantage after Lajong’s F Lalrohlua was sent off for his second bookable offence in the 60th minute.Naorem’s 86th minute strike was easily the goal of the season so far as he cut in from the left channel and dodged past six Lajong players before slotting the ball past an onrushing goalie into the net. Naorem had come into the match as a substitute in the 75th minute.Today’s win by Arrow’s was a post Christmas gift of sorts for their coach Luis Norton de Matos who has taken a few days break to be at home this festive season.
He is expected to be back for their next home game here on January 2 against mighty East Bengal.In de Matos’ absence, Floyd Pinto was at the helm of affairs of the Arrows and he began with all but one of his playing eleven with boys who were in India’s U-17 World Cup squad.The midfield trio of Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Amarjit and Suresh Singh proved too hot to handle for the Lajong defence line and the trio regularly slipped passes into the final third.Lajong players chased the ball all day as the Arrows’ youngsters distributed the ball nicely, not allowing their more physically superior opponents to close in on them. As was shown during the U-17 World Cup, the Arrows players were impeccable in their organisation also.Two minutes later, central defender Jitendra Singh burst onto the scene from a throw-in and netted the ball home to give the Arrow’s the lead.
In the second half, Lajong tried to come back into the match and pressed for the equaliser but nothing much happenned for them as Jitendra and Anwar Ali marshalled the Arrows’ defence nicely.In the 60th minute, Lajong were reduced to ten men after Lalrohlua was given his marching order by the referee for a rash tackle on Ninthoinganba.