Shillong Lajong FC lost were outplayed by Kerala Blasters FC in their Super Cup 2024 opening match today, losing the Group B contest in Bhubaneswar 3-1.
Kwame Peprah (15′, 27′) scored twice in under 30 minutes as the Indian Super League (ISL) leaders pulled out a 2-0 lead.
However, just three minutes after Kwame’s first goal, Renan Paulino de Souza (30′) clawed a goal back via a penalty kick after team mate Abdou Karim Samb was fouled in the box by the Blasters’ goalkeeper Sachin Suresh.
That partially made up for the spate of missed opportunities that Lajong had thrown away earlier on in the game but there was no coming back for the Reds, who conceded again less than a minute into the second half with a goal by Mohammed Aimen (46′).
Only the top club from each of the four groups will progress to the semifinals, so a defeat in the opener has put Lajong firmly on the back foot. Nevertheless, they will hope to put on a better show against NorthEast United FC on January 15 before playing Jamshedpur FC on January 20.
Unlike the Blasters, who are having an excellent ISL season, NorthEast United (in sixth place) and Jamshedpur (tenth) are not doing that well and Lajong might have a good chance of pulling off a couple of wins.