Imphal, October 31: Gokulam Kerala FC broke their jinx as they won their first-ever point against Neroca FC since their debut in the Hero I-League. The Kerala-based side had been at the receiving end twice in the last edition, but they stole a vital point against the Manipuri outfit at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Wednesday (October 31).
Baoringdao Bodo opened the scoring for the visitors at the stroke of half-time but Eduardo Ferriera (59') nipped in a perfect equaliser to open their tally in the 12th edition of the I-League.
In the 13th minute, Subash Singh rushed into the box with a clear intention to find the back of the net but the Ortiz came to his team's rescue. Five minutes later, the Neroca FC attacker got another opportunity to open the goalmouth but following a melee in the box, the chance got wasted for them.
Congratulations @ronald15shaikhom for today's Hero of the match!! pic.twitter.com/xnFOxBmgDk— Neroca FC (@NerocaFC) October 31, 2018
At the stroke of the half-hour mark, Malem Meitei put in a long ball for Aryn Williams who wasted what might have been the best opportunity for the hosts in the first half. The long ball by Meitei landed perfectly on the head of the Aussie but he failed to connect it on time which resulted in nothing more than a goal kick for the visitors.
Bino George, in the 35th minute, introduced Bodo which played to be the perfect master-stroke by Gokulam manager. The Manipuri lad ripped the Neroca defence apart within 10 minutes of coming on the pitch.
The move started from the back when skipper Musa rolled it to another local lad Pritam Singh, who flummoxed the Neroca defenders to put in a nippy ball for an onrushing Bodo who did no mistake to rattle the back of the net leaving the goalkeeper Boerchio stranded.
After the changeover, the hosts shifted the gear to push the Keralites on the backfoot. Their Nigerian striker Felix Chidi had a spectacular run down the left flank before bombarding a shot from inside the box which got thwarted by Daniel Addo.
It's not the result we want!! We take 1 point from today's game !!FULL TIME— Neroca FC (@NerocaFC) October 31, 2018
NFC 1 - 1 GKFC pic.twitter.com/t3LNkGf7jz
Three minutes later, Pritam had a rusty challenge on Ronald Singh which eventually helped the hosts earn the hard-fought equaliser. Subash Singh glided a long free-kick to the far end of the D-box and Tondomba headed it down to Malem whose side-footed volley was steered in beautifully by Brazilian defender Eduardo Ferreira to provide the Neroca FC dugout with much-needed respite.
In the biggest upset of the 12th Hero I-League season so far, debutants Real Kashmir FC registered a solitary-goal victory against their hosts Minerva Punjab FC at the Tau Devi Lal stadium in Panchkula on Wednesday (October 31).
Gnohere Krizo, got the game's only goal in the second half to stun the champions, who otherwise played the better football on the day. Real Kashmir bagged full three points while Minerva now have one point from two games after drawing their opener against Churchill Brothers FC Goa.
The game which heralded the beginning of Game Week Two of the 12th Hero I-League, did not reach dizzying heights as Real Kashmir understandably began with a defensive approach and the defending champions, despite creating some gilt-edged chances, failed to score, an area which they will have to urgently look into, if they have to reach even near the levels of last year.
Source: (Press Release & AIFF)