Shillong Premier League 2023: Donlad scores hat-trick as Mawlai whip Sawmer

Shillong, April 1: Defending champions Mawlai SC did not let an early concession hold them back as they recorded a stomping 7-2 victory over Sawmer SC in the Shillong Premier League 2023 at the SSA Stadium at First Ground, Polo, here on Monday.

Donlad Diengdoh (22′, 24′, 57′) scored a hat-trick and the other Mawlai players to get their names on the scoresheet were Robert Khongriah (34’), Fairming Suting (74’), Kevin Rymbai (75’) and Dajiedlang Wanshnong (86’). Sawmer scored through Diego Khriam (10′) and Mark Austin Wanswett (88’).

The win takes Mawlai to the top of the standings with 7 points, though they have played a game more than Shillong Lajong FC and Rangdajied United FC, who both have 6 points each.
Neither side started with their first-choice goalkeepers and their relative inexperience may have contributed to some of the goals.
A failure by Mawlai to clear gifted Diego the ball inside the box and he scored with ease as he was unmarked at the time.

Mawlai thus had to come from behind to win and doing so made them the first club to achieve this in SPL 2023.
Donlad’s first goal came about via a powerful header off a corner and two minutes later he muscled past a defender, beat the goalkeeper and slotted into an empty net.
Mawlai’s third goal came after Sawmer were playing with fire at the back by passing the ball around and not clearing it. The second time it went to the goalie, Edison Suna, his touch was a little heavy and that presented a chance for Robert to pounce and score.
The reigning champs thus went into the break leading 3-1 but there was a lot more to come in the second half.
In the 57th minute a strong shot from Mark Austin was blocked by Mawlai keeper Lambhamiki Lamare and the boys in yellow launched an immediate counterattack, with Donlad beating Edison to score his hat-trick goal. Donlad was the joint top scorer in SPL 2022 with 7 goals and he looks determined to break that mark this year.
Sawmer then did not help their cause when they were reduced to 10 men after Ricky Chyne copped a direct red card for having words with the referee. Sawmer had felt that Donlad’s third goal should have been disallowed and their mood did not improve after that.
Being a man down was a huge handicap as Mawlai moved around the pitch with ease. Even before their advantage in numbers came about they looked like a well-oiled machine at work in terms of their touches, passing, control and use of the flanks.
A fifth goal for Mawlai followed in the 74th minute, with Robert’s attempt blocked by a defender but the ball was still in play and Fairming placed a superb left-footer past a diving Edison. It only took another minute for Mawlai’s next goal, scored by Kevin after the ball was given away a little cheaply.
Dajiedlang headed in the last one for Mawlai but Mark Austin, tireless at the other end, was finally rewarded with a goal for Sawmer in the 88th minute, also through a header.
Mawlai moved up in the points table but the heavy defeat meant that Sawmer dropped to eighth and last place. They had previously had a goal difference of -2 (the same as Langsning FC) but now theirs is -7, meaning that Langsning and Sawmer switch places.
Tuesday’s match will be between Nangkiew Irat SC and Langsning at 3pm.

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