I-League: Resurgent Neroca hosts leader Mohun Bagan

For Neroca, a win would propel it to third on the I-League table, with Mohun Bagan three points clear at the summit with a match in hand.

Neroca has conceded the joint-most goals in the I-League this season.

A win in its previous outing boosting its confidence, Neroca FC will host leader Mohun Bagan in a tricky I-League match here on Thursday.

Despite its initial struggle, there has been a sense of calm in the Orange Brigade with over half the season still left to play. The home side will be walking into the match with a huge boost in morale following its home victory against Real Kashmir, which saw it climb up the table to sixth place.

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, is sitting comfortably on top of the table while also coming into the match after its 2-1 Kolkata derby win against arch rival East Bengal.

A win for Neroca would see it break into the top three, which would be an outstanding turnaround given that the Imphal-based outfit was in the dreaded relegation spot at the turn of the year.

Read: I-League: Dicka's brace helps Punjab FC past Gokulam Kerala

Head coach Gift Raikhan said ahead of the game, “The match will be very difficult for Neroca. They (Mohun Bagan) have not lost in a while now. They are strong, experience-wise. Their marquee players are very good and their Indian players are very talented.”

“We have been inconsistent due to our lack of experience, but my team will improve with each passing day. As a team, we are going to fight until the end. The result will be there for everyone to see after the final whistle.”

Mohun Bagan is now unbeaten in six games and is now three points clear of second-placed Punjab FC with a game in hand.

“The derby is behind us now. We are very happy with the result and the three points but we have been thinking about tomorrow’s game ever since Monday. We know that it is going to be very difficult,” Mohun Bagan head coach Kibu Vicuna said.

Neroca defender Taryk Samson will be up against Nongdamba Naorem on the left, who has been nothing short of phenomenal this season, while the likes of Chanso Horam, Siam Hanghal and Zodingliana Ralte will be in the middle of the park against Bagan’s Spanish contingent of Joseba Beitia and Fran Gonzales.

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