I-League 2021-22 roundup: Mendi hattrick sees Neroca home, Real Kashmir edge past Aizawl and more 

Neroca got past Sreenidi in a 5-goal thriller.
Neroca got past Sreenidi in a 5-goal thriller.
Harsh Murarka

Matchday 2 of the I-League 2021-22 saw three entertaining matches, with Neroca FC, Real Kashmir FC, and Mohammedan SC all picking up their first wins of the new season.

Neroca FC emerge victorious in a goal-fest

The first encounter of the day was between Neroca FC and newcomers Sreenidi Deccan FC, who were playing their first-ever I-League game. Neroca took the lead in the 15th minute via their Spanish striker Sergio Mendi. He extended his side's lead when he nodded in a header in the 22nd minute. Both goals were assisted by experienced I-League campaigner Juan Mera.

Just before half-time, Sreenidi Deccan FC reduced the deficit after Girik Khosla sent the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-1. However, Sergio Mendi completed a perfect hat-trick - scoring with both feet as well as his head - in the 49th minute.

Just before the completion of an hour's play, Sreenidi Deccan FC pulled one back again through Colombian striker David Castaneda Munoz to make it 3-2. The game ended with Neroca FC protecting their slim lead and taking home all three points.

Real Kashmir FC win against Aizawl FC

Tiago Adan celebrating his goal.
Tiago Adan celebrating his goal.

The Snow Leopards were in high spirits after winning the IFA Shield and kicked off their I-League campaign with a comfortable victory against Aizawl FC. Real Kashmir took an early lead through Tiago Adan, who headed in a corner-kick by Surchandra Singh. Lalthakima Ralte equalized for Aizawl FC a few minutes before half-time as both teams headed into the tunnel with the scores tied.

Real Kashmir then scored two goals through Tiago Adan and Mason Robertson in the second half to seal the match. Ramhlunchhunga scored a goal from outside the box for Aizawl FC but it proved to be too little too late. Tiago Adan was declared the player of the match for his brace as he provided his team with a win.

Mohammedan SC edge past Sudeva Delhi FC

Sudeva's late scare was not enough to get anything out of the game.
Sudeva's late scare was not enough to get anything out of the game.

The third and final match of the day saw Mohammedan SC and Sudeva Delhi FC battle it out at the Naihati Stadium in West Bengal.

SK Faiaz scored the first goal of the match as he converted an accurate cross from Serbian Nikola Stojanović.

Mohammedan entered the dressing room at half-time ruing their missed chances as the score still read 1-0.

Shortly after the break, experienced striker Marcus Joseph scored a stunner to make it 2-0 for the Black Panthers. Mohammedan SC were headed towards a comfortable win with a clean sheet when Sudeva Delhi FC pulled one back.

Abhijit Sarkar scored his first of the season to deny his opponents a clean sheet. However, Mohammedan SC took home all three points at the end of the day.

Edited by Prem Deshpande

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