I-League: Neroca braces for home debut

Neroca FC is set to make history when it hosts Chennai City FC, in the I-League, at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Friday.The match is set to be the first-ever I-League encounter to be played in Manipur.

NEROCA I-League

Neroca will approach the tie on the back of an away win against Gokulam Kerala FC.   -  S. Ramesh Kurup

Neroca FC is set to make history when it hosts Chennai City FC at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Friday.The match is set to be the first-ever I-League encounter to be played in Manipur.

Neroca will approach the tie on the back of an away win against Gokulam Kerala FC, whereas Chennai City FC is in the midst of a torrid away run, having been defeated in the last two matches.

Speaking to the media at the pre-match conference held on Thursday, Chennai FC coach, V Soundarajan said the team will give its best.

"We're not going to lose this tie at any point of time. We know, we had a very tough time until now but tomorrow might be our day here, who knows", Soundarajan said.

Read: NEROCA secures maiden I League win

He acknowledged the fanfare surrounding Friday's match and expects huge support for the home team but he stressed his team has only one objective.

"Our boys have gradually improved from their first outing so far and tomorrow we're surely going to dish out an impressive show in front of the strong support for Neroca FC," he added.

"We have a strong base and we'll put more than five Chennai-based players and also the presence of two players from Manipur in the team will have some advantage for us," said Soundararajan. 

On the other hand, Neroca FC coach, Gift Raikhan said his team is fully aware of the situation and it wants to make the best out of it.

"Yes, we are aware of the emotional connect of the situation and we're surely going to push our limits to make the best out of it.

"We will give 100 per cent effort to win the match. We know it's going to be the first I-League match to be played in our State (Manipur) but we should not get carried away by the occasion. We have to absolutely spot on," he stated.

Gift Raikhan showed immense respect for his counterpart despite its not-so-impressive start to the campaign so far.

"Chennai FC is a team with good attacking skills and as such three to four players of the team will be marked in the defence line to keep them on a check." 

The match is scheduled to kick-off at 2:00 p.m. and will be telecast live on Star Sports 2, 2 HD and streamed live on Hotstar and Jio TV.

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