Aizawl FC hosted NEROCA FC in their first home game of the 2018-19 I-League season. It was a unique encounter apart from the fact that it was a Northeast derby. It was the first time when Gift Raikhan, the ex-NEROCA manager, faced his old team. The present NEROCA coach Manuel Fraile is an ex-Aizawl FC coach as well.
With two coaches facing off against their former teams, the match had a different angle of enthusiasm in it.
The match started in a cagey manner; both the teams took time to settle into the game. It also got physical at moments and free flow football was missing in the first half.
Both the teams had a few chances in the first half but failed to convert them as the scoreboard read nil-nil at halftime.
The second half started with both the teams showing more urgency in attack and wanting to get the win.
The match ended in a goalless draw, and both the teams will be content with the result. On that note, let us take a look at five hits and flops from the game.
#5 Bektur Talgat Uulu (Aizawl FC)- Flop
The Kyrgyz international player, who played for Churchill Brothers before joining Aizawl FC this season, had the role of creating things for Aizawl on Wednesday. Bektur wasn't up to the task of creating chances for Aizawl. He did work well breaking up NEROCA attacks in the middle of the park, but his passes and link-up play with Ansumanah Kromah was poor.
Mapuia had to come back and cover for Bektur a lot, which hampered Aizawl's options of going forward.
Bektur also gifted NEROCA the possession a lot of times in the midfield. His positioning was also left wanting during the game. Bektur's below-par performance had a significant effect on Aizawl performance, and it was one of the main reason Aizawl played a pale brand of football against NEROCA.