Feb 10 : Eyeing a comeback, Aizawl FC will be taking on Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC in a I-League match in Aizawl on Tuesday. It has been a disappointing season for Aizawl, who have notched the joint-fewest wins with only two so far.
Their latest win arrived in their previous outing against the languishing East Bengal. If the former champions can follow up with another victory on Tuesday, resurgence could be on the horizon.
Speaking ahead of the game, Aizawl FC head coach Stanley Rozario said, “Winning against East Bengal was a morale-booster for my players. They showed the character, attitude and fighting spirit on the field and worked hard to win the match.
“It gave confidence to my players and I want us to continue with the same positive attitude and try hard to win the match and collect three full points at home.”
After a seven-match unbeaten run, TRAU have been left reeling following their 0-5 loss in the Imphal derby.
A win in the reverse fixture against their city rivals last month helped give a boost to TRAU’s season and they have since taken the league by storm, going toe-to-toe against the big guns.
They will be hoping that there are no after-effects of that deflating loss but the Tiddim Road outfit, however, will be without the services of defender Soraisham Sandeep Singh, who was sent off in the derby.
“It is heart-breaking to lose a derby but that is done and dusted now. We have to get back up on our feet and not let the defeat cloud our actions on the pitch going forward,” said TRAU FC captain Princewell Emeka.
Neroca FC host Indian Arrows
Neroca FC will be playing host to All India Football Federation’s developmental side Indian Arrows at the Khuman Lumpak Stadium in Imphal, Manipur on Tuesday. Buoyed by their emphatic 5-0 win in the Imphal Derby against city-rivals TRAU, Neroca will remain hopeful of using the victory as a catapult to climb up the dominions of the lower trenches of the table. They are currently 10th and a win against Indian Arrows could see them jump over three teams on the points table.
Pritam Singh’s hat-trick inspired the landslide victory on Saturday, but Neroca will be happy to get the job done and over the line against a young Arrows team, who may lack experience but aren’t drawn by fear and intimidation.
Arrows skipper Vikram Partap has drawn in his fair share of plaudits for his neat displays throughout the season, but the likes of Saurabh Meher and RV Hormipam have been formidable at the back, showing maturity and composure beyond their years.
Goalkeeper Biaka Jongte had the game of his life against Quess East Bengal, producing a string of stunning saves to get his side over the line in Kalyani and looks set to keep his place in goal ahead of Samik Mitra, who is another exciting talent in his own right.
While Neroca will retain confidence based on momentum and a passionate Khuman Lumpak crowd roaring behind them, the Arrows have it in their arsenal to spring upsets out of nowhere. They have done it against Churchill and more recently, against the Red and Golds. Neroca remain favourites, but against the Arrows, lightning could strike in broad daylight.