Issac Vanmalsawma’s goal helped Shillong Lajong defeat East Bengal by a solitary goal to confirm their place in the I-League next season. Shillong’s win also ended Aizawl’s stay in the league after the club finished in the relegation position to return to the second division after just one season.
Relegation-threatened Shillong Lajong welcomed third-placed East Bengal to their home venue for the last game of the season. Shillong needed to just avoid defeat in the game to avoid relegation, but Shillong coach, Thangboi Singto went with an attacking line-up for the game with Brazilians Fábio Pena and
The lapse at the back woke the Shillong players up from their slumber and they pushed forward in search of a goal.
East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan introduced Mohammed Rafique and Sanju Pradhan for Samad Ali Mallick and C S Sabeeth few minutes after the break as the gaffer tried to energise the attacking line. But, it was Shillong that drew the first blood in the 62nd minute after Issac Vanmalsawma’s shot took a deflection off Arnab Mondal to find the net.
East Bengal stitched together a few passes in midfield as they tried to find an equaliser in the last twenty minutes, but the home side stuck to their job and stopped Ranti Martins and co from causing any danger. With the win, Shillong confirmed their place in the I-League next season, while Aizawl got relegated to the second division after finishing eighth in the table. Although, DSK Shivjians finished bottom of the table, the Pune club was never in danger of relegation after getting a corporate entry this season.
Mumbai FC vs DSK Shivajians
On the other match of the day, Mumbai FC defeated DSK Shivajians 4-0 to confirm their place in the I-League next season. Jayesh Rane, Eric Brown and Sushil Singh scored the goals for the home side to take them past their Maharashtra rivals. Jayesh Rane opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a tap in before Eric Brown doubled the score two minutes later with a strike at the near post. Sushil Singh put the match to bed even before the end of the half after beating Subrata Paul from a strike from edge of the box. Eric Brown added another just before the end of the match to make it 4-0 for the home side.