NEROCA FC 2 (Michael Kporvi 10’, Sweden Fernandes 66’)
Mohammedan Sporting 0

AIFF Media Team

IMPHAL: NEROCA FC defeated Mohammedan Sporting 2-0 here at Khuman Lampak Stadium on Sunday, March 5, 2023, to rise to the eighth position on the Hero I-League table. The Kolkata side dropped to 10th position. As things stand today, Aizawl FC, NEROCA and Rajasthan United are all on 25 points. Their last matches would be crucial to determine when and where these four teams play in the Super Cup qualifiers.

Local fans were happy to see the way the home side played this evening as they were far better than the scoreboard suggests. Mohammedan Sporting goalkeeper Zothanmawia saved at least three goals. Otherwise the scoreline would have been an embarrassing one for Mehrjuddin Wadoo’s men. The two goals scored were pieces of individual brilliance where Zothanmawia could not have done much.

The first one came in the 10th minute. Ghanaian forward Michael Kporvi had a clear look at the goal and unleashed a right-footer from around 30 yards out. It was so powerful and high that Zothanmawia, not the tallest of goalies, could only get a hand to it. It was not enough to tip the ball over the bar.

Mohammedan Sporting looked listless in the entire match and their only real chance came in the 17th minute when Marcus Joseph’s right-footer hit the crossbar.

NEROCA’s three points were sealed in the second half by Hero of the Match Sweden Fernandes, who has come up with some great performances this season. However, assistant coach Gyan Moyon did not give him a start today. The Goan came on as a substitute in the 64th minute and made it 2-0 just a couple of minutes later.

It was a free-kick from the left, a long way off the goal. But Sweden went for the goal himself and was able to swing it a long way, in through the first post at the top corner. Slight deflection from the wall did help. Zothanmawia could not even move.