Indian football action was at its best when NEROCA FC played Chennai City FC. A hat-trick from their star striker Pedro Manzi was neutralised by three goals from the hosts at the Khuman Lumpak Stadium in Imphal on Monday.
A stunning comeback from the hosts in the second half ensured that they snatched a point from the table toppers.
With the win, the Akbar Nawas-helmed Chennai City have 34 points in their kitty from 16 matches, with four games left to play. They will stay back in North East to face-off against a red-hot Shillong Lajong FC this coming weekend.
On the other hand, NEROCA FC will travel to Panchkula to play their next match against Minerva Punjab FC later this month.
Let us look at the 3 reasons why Chennai City FC drew with NEROCA FC:
#3 Chennai City FC's collapse in the second half
The Spanish trio showed glimpses of brilliance even on Monday, combining well in the first half, often outclassing the opponent’s defence and penetrate through. But, it took 35 minutes for them to break the deadlock, with three of the Spaniard’s getting involved in the goal. Sandro Rodriguez’s long ball was received by Nestor Gordillo near the sidelines.
He made a square run and cleverly played a through towards Pedro Manzi, who made no mistake to net his 14th goal of the season. It took him just 6 minutes to double the lead and increase his tally when he capitalised on a silly mistake made by one of NERCOCA’s defenders. The visitors made it 3-0 by the half time.
But the team totally collapsed in the second, their defence was shattered. Chennai City FC could have easily lost the match, but escaped with a single point after NEROCA FC made it 3-3!
Chennai City FC’s road to the title is quite simple at the present moment. If they manage to win four of their remaining matches, they will be the champions. If they lose points, the fate of the team from South India will depend on the results of other matches.