Siliguri, Feb 14: After playing five back-to-back matches at home, Shillong Lajong FC will test tougher waters when they take on I-League leaders East Bengal here at the Kanchenjunga Stadium on Wednesday, February 15.
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Lajong had a terrific time at home since last month as they won four consecutive games against Minerva Punjab, Mumbai FC, Chennai City FC and Churchill Brothers SC.
Their winning spree was cut short by Pune side DSK Shivajians last Saturday and the Reds went down narrowly by a scoreline of 1-2.
The highlight for Lajong so far has been the superb form of Cameroonian striker Dipanda Dicka, who is now the leading goal scorer in the I-League with seven goals from eight matches.
He scored all of these goals at home and Lajong head coach Thangboi Singto is hoping Dicka continues netting goals for the team in the next two away games as well.
Despite going down to DSK last weekend, Singto was satisfied with the way the team kept their fighting spirit alive till the final whistle of the match.
Singto also said that the boys showed real zeal and they were fighting so hard for the win. The coach expects the team to keep the fighting spirit going full on with positive attitude, especially in these two crucial away matches.
Shillong Lajong are on fourth position with 12 points from eight matches.
"We are working on areas where we need to improve on defensively and in attack. We need to approach every match with unity and team work. The aim should be to do well in the remaining matches," Singto said.
"East Bengal is a strong and balanced team. We need to work more on what we need to do against them and how best we can get good results. We need to keep playing as per our strengths and all players need to contribute to the team."
East Bengal, meanwhile, would look to get over the tepid 0-0 draw against arch-rivals Mohun Bagan and register a win to further strengthen their grip on the title run.
They are on 20 points and have won six and drew two games.
The last time the two sides met was actually in the Federation Cup campaign where the young Shillong side emerged victorious and progressed to the final four with 4-3 on aggregate. (Lajong won at home by 2-1 and drew 2-2 away).
In the I-League last season, however, East Bengal won their home game with a 4-0 margin but lost their away tie in Shillong by one goal to nil.