NEROCA upstage Hyderabad to close in on 2nd Division title

IMPHAL: NEROCA FC overcame early jitters to pull off a 2-1 success against Fateh Hyderabad AFC in their fourth home match of the I-League 2nd Division at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium on Sunday. With the result, NEROCA, who remain unbeaten, stay at the top of the final round table with 17 points above Southern Samity, Kolkata who are one point adrift of the home team with 16 points.

Fateh Hyderabad started brightly as they took just eight minutes from kick-off to break the hosts. It was Abdul Hakku who put the visitors ahead when he produced a fine move in a goalmouth tussle to slot home the opener. NEROCA, however, soon recovered in the 19th minute capitalising on a free kick, thanks to Thangjam Saran Singh. Saran lifted a sublime ball over Hyderabad’s defence and sent the ball into the top corner to put his side on level terms.

Neither team could steal a march on each other in the ensuing minutes of exchanges and they ended up deadlocked at 1-1 at halftime. After the restart, the home team went on the offensive and they needed 10 minutes into the second half to turn things around. It was Singam Subash whose 55th-minute effort eventually tilted the scales in his team’s favour which saw NEROCA maintain their lead in the final round table. NEROCA are now only three matches away from sealing the league title. They have two away matches against Delhi United on May 19 and against LoneStar Kashmir Football Club on May 22 before they wrap up their campaign against Southern Samity at home on May 28.

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