After registering their first ever I-League win at home, there was cause for another big celebration on Friday as Rangdajied United were crowned the new champs of the Imperial Blue Shillong Premier League with a narrow, yet somewhat calm 1-0 win over their rivals Malki in the floodlit JN Sports Complex.
A goal by the resilient David Ngaihte and a stellar performance by man of the match Dapbor Bareh allowed the blues to walk home with a memorable victory after losing out on a close-fought final encounter last year against Royal Wahingdoh.
David Ngaihte’s 60th minute goal following a mix-up inside the penalty box ensured the I-League promoted side a deserving win as they ended their SPL campaign unbeaten with 14 wins and a draw.
After a Rangdajied corner, there was a scramble in the penalty box, creating an advantage for David who fired in a shot past goalkeeper Larry. Malki looked jaded in the second half after displaying some attacking football in the early stages of the game.
Malki’s counter-attacks were unsuccessful and their striker Samson Nongrum, who was having a good run in the league, looked depleted in the latter half therefore weakening the attack to an extent.
The local side nearly found an equaliser in the dying minutes through a header, but the ball just barely missed the target. Rangdajied, fielding some of their star players, eventually held on tight for the last few minutes to break a three-year Shillong Premier League title run by Royal Wahingdoh.