I-League: 10-man Neroca FC share the spoils with Aizawl FC
Neroca FC played out a goal-less draw against Aizawl FC to suffer a setback in their hopes of remaining in the I-League title hunt in Imphal on Sunday.
The eventful game saw Neroca’s Brazilian defender Eduardo Ferreira receive a red card for a dangerous challenge on Zikahi Dodoz in the 48th minute.
Neroca FC, after two consecutive defeats to Mohun Bagan and Churchill Brothers, needed a win to return to title contention. However, it was the visitors Aizawl FC who threatened to draw first blood but they were unable to convert the opportunities that came their way.
Aizawl missed an opportunity when their Nigerian forward Kareem Nurain’s shot from just outside the box hit the post and then cleared by a Neroca defender.
The Manipur side, on the other hand, took time to settled down but later made some promising moves and breached into the Aizawl box quite a few times but full credit to the visiting side defenders and goalkeeper Lalawmpuia, who ensured that the hosts do not edge them out early.
While the first half ended goalless, it was a highly entertaining next 45 minutes, as both the teams displayed attacking football.
The second half began on an eventful note as Neroca defender Eduardo was shown the red card in the 48th minute for a dangerous challenge on Aizawl’s Ivorian forward Zikahi Dodoz. Neroca FC, who were now down to 10 men, had more trouble coming their way with two back-to-back yellow cards on Sebastian Thangmuansang, in the 50th minute, and Aryn Williams, in the 52nd minute, for rash challenges.
The game, thereafter, saw the visitors pressing hard on the 10-man Neroca at regular intervals, but could not really make the most of their opportunities.
While Neroca did make a few attempts to score but nothing was impressive enough to trouble the Aizawal defence.