Nongdamba Naorem powers Mohun Bagan past Neroca

With the win, Mohun Bagan remains ahead of the chasing pack, taking its tally to 20 points, while Neroca drops to ninth in the I-League standings.

Mohun Bagan keeper Sanakar Roy punches the ball clear in the match against Neroca.   -  AIFF Media

I-League leader Mohun Bagan registered an emphatic 3-0 victory away from home against Neroca FC at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Thursday.

Nongdamba Naorem gave Mohun Bagan the lead in the 27th minute before creating the second goal for Papa Diawara in the 53rd minute. Substitute Komron Tursunov added the third, deep into stoppage time, to seal the deal for the Mariners.

Neroca head coach Gift Raikhan made one change to his previous match line-up, with Ronald Singh coming in for Zico Sekle, while his Mohun Bagan counterpart Kibu Vicuna named an unchanged eleven.

Neroca had its first attempt against the run of play in the 16th minute, when a Marvin Phillip goal-kick found Boubacar Diarra, who went for glory from the half-way line after spotting Mohun Bagan keeper Sankar Roy off his line.

In the 24th minute, Fran Gonzales sent VP Suhair with a textbook through ball down the right. With only the keeper to beat, Suhair’s attempt ricocheted off the woodwork and fell to Diawara, who had a second crack on goal with an acrobatic scissor kick that sailed over the bar.

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With two players closing him down, Nongdamba Naorem released the ball to Joseba Beitia and ran into the box. The Spaniard flicked it towards Dhanachadra Singh who squared it back to Nongdamba.

With three defenders closing down the 20-year-old and Marvin Phillip making himself big in goal, Naorem outsmarted everyone and gently toe-poked it past the near post instead, finishing off the move he had started to give his side a well-deserved lead in the 27th minute.

In the 42nd minute, Moiranghthem Meitei handled the ball just outside the box and conceded a free-kick. Diawara's effort was parried away by Marvin.

In the 53rd minute, Naorem delivered a cross that found a completely unmarked Diawara for Mohun Bagan’s second goal of the day.

In the fourth minute of stoppage time, late substitutes PM Britto and Komron Tursunov combined well for the team's third goal. Tursunov made a great run to receive a through ball from Britto and squared it past Marvin to score his first goal for the club.

Mohun Bagan remains ahead of the chasing pack, taking its tally to 20 points, while Neroca drops to ninth in the standings.

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