Shillong Lajong football club winded up the year 2019 in style by emerging champions of the second edition of the Meghalaya State League on Saturday.
Shillong Lajong drubbed arch rivals Rangdajied United 3-0 on penalties after extra time ended goalless at the Teilang Phawa Stadium in Khliehriat.
The final match was a keenly contested one of the tournament that was kicked off on November 27 last.
Rangdajied’s Stephanson Pale was named man-of-the-match for his superlative performance during the games but Lajong goalkeeper Neithovilie Chalieu was the hero in the penalty shootout after keeping out two spot kicks.
Regulation time saw plenty of chances for both sides and the 8,000-strong crowd were eager to see a goal but Rangdajied were excellent in defence, while their forwards were a little reluctant to take shots.
Lajong’s forwards were not so reticent but could not find the mark.
Twenty minutes of tense extra time failed to separate the sides but it was Lajong who could celebrate joyously after Naorem Mahesh Singh found the back of the net with the last penalty.
As champions Lajong were awarded Rs five lakh, while the runners-up went home with a cash award of Rs three lakh.
State sports & youth affairs minister Banteidor Lyngdoh was the chief guest while social welfare minister Kyrmen Shylla graced the occasion as guest of honour.
They distributed the medals, cheques and winners’ trophy.
This was the 50th match of the MSL, which has been played in four venues across the State and involving 21 top clubs.