By Our Sports Reporter
IMPHAL, Dec 15 : NEROCA FC ended Churchill Brothers’ unbeaten run in the ongoing I League 2018-19 today here at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium, Imphal securing a 2-1 win riding on Katsumi Yusa’s headers each half. Local favourites, NEROCA FC who enjoyed the solid support and cheers of the home crowd are now holding the third spot sharing same 14 points with second placed Real Kashmir.
The game started on a bang as attacking midfielder, Katsumi Yusa caught Churchill Brothers’ keeper James Kithan by surprise to open up the scoring when the match was not even a minute old. The Japanese was quick to connect to an aerial cross from Aryn Williams from outside rivals’ box before heading in and handed home team the early lead.
NEROCA FC continued to keep the ball in their possession and had few chances to double their lead but failed as Churchill keeper came up with gallant saves. The visitors which were trying hard to assert their presence in the field grew stronger towards the end of the first half and it was in the 37th minute that Aucho found himself at the right place to head the ball in off a Dawda Ceesay free-kick to make it 1-1 till the first half.
Though the game witnessed few rough plays towards the end of the game, the earlier part of the second half saw both teams going neck to neck hunting for the breakthrough but ended resultless as defence line and keepers on both ends did well to deter any alteration in the scoreline.
Katsumi Yusa, Subhash and Odili Chidi keep teasing the rivals’ keeper but failed to find the net. On the other hand, Churchill Brothers’ Khalid Aucho, Wolfe were the trouble makers who went in too close to test NEROCA custodian Lalit Thaba, who also shone in the match with his fine saves.
NEROCA kept the pressure on as the visitors defence were kept on their toes for a better portion of time and it was the Japanese import who came up with yet another fine header in the 87th minute getting to the end of an inch-perfect delivery by Williams which can be considered as the replay of the first goal and gave NEROCA FC the second win at home.
S Thangmuansang of NEROCA FC was yellow carded for his double footed challenge from the back in the 71st minute while Yusa got the same for removing his shirt celebrating for the winner. W Vaz (30′), Khalid Oucho (90′) and S Pires (Addl time) of Churchill Brothers were also yellow carded by the referee.
By Our Sports Reporter