Neroca register thrilling victory against Chennai City in I-League
Imphal: Neroca FC kicked off their home campaign in the I-League with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Chennai City FC on Friday in what was dubbed as a perfect team effort.
Following the win, Neroca FC rise to the fourth spot with six points from three matches while Chennai City FC remain at the ninth position with the solitary point collected from Kozhikode. Lalit Thapa's heroics under the woodwork, Varney Kallon's opener in the 26th minute and Ngangom Ronald Singh's 90th-minute perfectly summed up the Manipuri outfit's performance to outsmart Chennai City FC at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Manipur, to add another feather to the Northeastern state's hat.
Although the visitors pulled one back in the second half, they could not deter the hosts from bagging all three points towards the end when Ronald Singh tapped it home to send the 27,000 strong crowd into a delirium. In the first I- League home match of the Gift Raikhan-coached team, both the teams started with high pace. Chennai City FC gave their best amidst the huge crowds cheering for the home team.
However, Neroca FC's players played skilfully against their opponent. The visitors got a realistic chance to go one step up in the 17th minute when they were awarded a penalty. But, Neroca FC's goalkeeper Lalit Thapa jumped to his right to thwart Murilo Almeida's effort.
In the 16th minute when Chennai City FC's striker Murilo Ribeiro De tried to snatch the ball coming towards the box, Neroca FC's lanky Defender Govind pulled his jersey, handing a spot-kick to the visitors. But the resultant spot-kick could not garner any result for the Southern outfit.
Neroca FC started to execute mostly from the left flank of the field with Neroca FC's Striker Subash Singh keeping the Chennai City FC defenders on their toes throughout.
In the 24th minute, Neroca FC netted its first goal by Varney Kallon and led his team to a slim 1-0 lead until half-time.
In the second half, Chennai City FC's Charles Anandraj was replaced by Mashoor Shereef and made a strong attack on Neroca FC.