In search of a first win of the I-League season, East Bengal has travelled to Imphal to take on NEROCA FC at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Tuesday.
Neroca will be coming on the back of a win against Aizawl FC in a hard-fought match, where it plundered its first win with the help of a stellar performance from its custodian and skipper Marvin Devon Phillip.
Though Aizawl dominated the possession, Neroca’s win will give it the much-needed confidence going into the clash against East Bengal and an impetus for the home crowd to throng the stadium in large numbers.
Speaking before the match NEROCA's coach Gift Raikhan said, “I am very happy for the three points that we have got against Aizawl, but it’s important to note that the performance wasn’t up to the mark. We have been losing a lot of ball and a lot of chances which can prove costly against a stronger opponent.”
Speaking about East Bengal, he said, “We know that East Bengal is a good team but we will play at home. We will have to reduce our mistakes and make sure that we stand strong and compact against the away team’s attack.” He further resonated confidence in his team saying, “The team knows their strengths and weaknesses. We have prepared both mentally and physically for the same.”
The Red and Golds have drawn the first two matches but its coach Alejandro Menéndez will be hopeful with the number of chances the team has created in both the matches. Unfortunately, the chances created have not resulted in as many goals, which may be weighing on the team going into the Neroca encounter.
“I would be worried if the team doesn’t create the chances to score but creating the chances in both the games is a sign that the team combination is working well. Though, we would have liked if we had scored more goals but nonetheless we did score in every match. So, we are closer to scoring more goals and it is a positive sign,” said Menéndez.
Speaking about its opponent's, the coach added, “We know how they play and their style is pretty similar to that of Real Kashmir. So, we know what we are up against. We have to play in our style and be confident about what we do. Our defenders are playing really well and we need to have confidence in our team. I believe we are all set for the next game.”
The match will be broadcast live on DSPORT from 2:00 PM IST.
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