Kolkata: Manipur outfit NEROCA FC took a lucky 1-0 win against Indian Arrows to move into the top four in the I-League here on Monday.
In another match at Kalyani, former champions Aizawl FC also sealed a 1-0 win over Mumbai’s Kenkre FC with a roaring attack from substitute Ramhlunchhunga in the 75th minute.
This was the struggling Aizwal’s third win out of eight games as it added momentum to their pursuit of a top seven finish in the first stage of the I-League.
NEROCA, on the other hand, moved up to fourth place.
Imphal’s team missed the attacking duo of Juan Mera and Sergi Mendigutxia, while Indian Arrows dominated the game.
The AIFF development outfit showed offensive intent for the full 90 minutes, alarming NEROCA FC’s skillful defense several times.
But Brijesh Giri’s unfortunate (73rd) own goal cost Indian Arrows money and NEROCA FC stole three points.
It all started when Jiteshwor sent a chipped pass into the penalty area, which was knocked out by Indian Arrows goalkeeper Syed Bukhari.
But he could only find Vicky Meitei getting a header on the ball that made a deflection of Giri’s body to gift a riotous NEROCA FC the winner.
Just before the end of regular time, Parthib Gogoi dribbled past NEROCA’s midfield to create a sensational opportunity for Taison Singh in the penalty area.
But the Manipuri attacker’s shot only hit the woodwork and Indian Arrows missed the golden opportunity to save a point.
At Kalyani, Aizawl FC dominated possession in the first quarter, while Kenkre FC took a more direct approach, looking to use both flanks to deliver quick counterattacks with pace.
After a rough first half, Aizawl finally got the goal when Ramhlunchhunga unleashed a savage left foot that plunged into the back of the net well out of reach of goalkeeper Tenzin Samdup.
The win brought Aizawl FC’s total to nine points, on a par with Real Kashmir and Rajasthan United FC.
Kenkre FC, on the other hand, remained at the bottom of the ranking, scoreless from seven games.
Churchill Brothers FC Goa held Sreenidi Deccan football club in a 1-1 stalemate in the final game of the day.
Velmurugan broke the deadlock in the 16th minute by chipping it over Shilton Paul.
Tursunov tied the game in the 60th minute by scoring with a volley. He was assisted by Miranda, who made a good individual run across the goal line before passing the ball to the Tajikistan attacker.
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