NEROCA FC saw some nervy moments at the end of the game, before pulling off a win against Shillong Lajong on Friday. They defeated the neighbours 3-2 in the North-Eastern Derby at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal.
The win takes NEROCA FC into the second position of the league table with 21 points from 11 matches. Shillong, despite a spirited fight this time, stayed on the bottom with four points from 11 matches.
Katsumi Yusa put the home side ahead in the eighth minute with a penalty before Subhash Singh added the second in the 20th minute. Lajong’s Sheen Sohktung reduced the margin from a penalty in the 54th minute before Aibanbha Dohling scored an own goal to maintain the two-goal difference.
Lajong put up a spirited display late in the second half and even scored through Phrangki Buam but couldn’t find the equalizer.
We now look at the three reasons behind NEROCA FC’s win:
#3 Complete domination from the whole team
Last year, in their debut season in the I-League, NEROCA FC finished in the second position. This year too, they kept the same vein of form but are looking more dangerous with their performance.
The inclusion of Aryn Williams, Eduardo Ferreira and Katsumi Yusa in the team seems to have changed the mood of the camp. The team is now more positive, more confident and more attacking when they take the field.
Every member takes up the same responsibility on the field and doesn’t depend on any individual display. It is true that at the end of the day, one or two players who score and make the difference, but the collective effort behind the goal never goes hidden.
Take the example of Malemnganba Meitei. He was unlucky against Shillong Lajong to not score a goal. But he did everything to make it happen. He worked hard on the field and created moves whenever he got the ball on his feet.
Subhash Singh got away with the Man of the Match award but he got the support of everyone, including Williams, who also played a decisive role in the midfield. There were also Thangjam Saran Singh and Ashok Singh, both of whom could’ve scored.