Tag: Neroca FC

Neroca FC on the verge of signing former Mohun Bagan, East Bengal defender

IMPHAL: Neroca FC are said to be on the verge of signing Brazil-born naturalized Equatoguinean defender Eduardo Soares Ferreira for the forthcoming 2018/19 I-League campaign.

IndiaFooty sources have revealed that the player’s deal to join Neroca FC is as good as done, although it is yet to be confirmed by the Orange Brigade.

Eduardo, who spent his youth career playing for the likes of Fluminese, Flamengo and Corinthians, has played for top flight clubs in Brazil, Colombia, South Africa and Iran before moving to India with Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City in 2016.

After the conclusion of ISL 2016, the 34-year-old turned for Mohun Bagan in the I-League 2016/17 before switching allegiance to East Bengal in the next season. However, Eduardo was released from East Bengal at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Neroca FC have retained Varney Kallon, Felix Chidi Odili and Aryn Williams from the previous season beside signing much-traveled Italian goalkeeper Mauro Boerchio.

Mohammedan SC sign Nigerian striker to complete foreigner quota

KOLKATA: Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting Club have made their fourth and final foreign signing for the forthcoming Calcutta Football League in the shape of Nigerian striker Princewill Emeka Olariche. The player’s agent Subhradipta Majumdar has confirmed the move.

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Princewill joins the Ivorian triplet of Leonce Dodoz, Bazie Armand and Lancine Toure as the foreign recruits of Mohammedan Sporting Club.

The 26-year-old was an integral part of TRAU FC’s maiden 2nd Division League campaign and has been in red-hot form since the dawn of 2018.

Princewill has scored 7 times in 11 appearances for TRAU in 2017/18 2nd Division League. The enigmatic striker was also the second highest scorer of the league and has established himself as the premier goal poacher during the campaign. Princewill has also played for Neroca FC couple of seasons back.

Aizawl FC appoint 2017/18 I-League’s best coach

AIZAWL, MIZORAM: Aizawl FC on Wednesday have confirmed the appointment of Gift Raikhan as their new Head Coach.

The People’s Club took to their social media platforms to announce Raikhan’s arrival, who succeeded Santosh Kashyap.

The 36-year-old coach joins Aizawl FC having guided Neroca FC for over three years, in which he helped them gain promotion to the top flight from the 2nd Division League in the 2016/17 season, before leading to a surprise second-place finish in I-League in the following season.

Raikhan was also adjudged as the best coach in 2017/18 I-League, however, for all his attributes Neroca FC decided against renewing his contract at the end of last season.

“Gift Raikhan is someone who will definitely bring the wit and experience that we need to rise above this season’s underachievement, and also ensure we are a strong force in challenging for both MPL and I-League title next season.” Aizawl FC owner Robert Royte told IndiaFooty.

Raikhan was previously linked with East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting Club post.

I-League 2017/18: Neroca look to maintain pressure on the top

IMPHAL: After a minor blip, NEROCA have registered back-to-back wins in I-League and their impressive title challenge will be put to the test by defending champions Aizawl FC at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Saturday (February 10, 2018).

Gift Raikhan’s side are on a good run in the Hero I-League. They are second on the table behind Minerva Punjab, with 27 points from 14 games. After a loss in the opening game of the season, NEROCA went on an incredible nine-game unbeaten run before losing to Lajong and Minerva Punjab earlier this month. Since the dual defeats, they have picked up from where they left and edged out Churchill Brothers and Gokulam Kerala in their last two games.

“There will always be pressure because we’re on a very good run now. I feel pressure and all the players feel pressure. But football is all about pressure. We need to work hard. If we don’t win, there is no chance to be champions. So we need to go away from the pressure and work hard,” said Raikhan ahead of their crucial tie against Aizawl FC at home.

Felix Chidi (5) and Subhash Singh (3) have been in good goalscoring form while Nedo Turkovic has been effective off the bench for the I-League new entrants. Rakhan will hope the trio can take full advantage of depleted defending champions.

Aizawl FC head coach Paulo Menezes will be without the services of Masih Saighani for the game against NEROCA. Last season’s title winners are sixth on the table with at least one game in hand compared to the rest of the teams except Gokulam Kerala. They will want to make full use of the games in hand if they are to climb up the table.

Aizawl are on a six-game winless run and will be desperate for three points. A 10-man Aizawl went down against Churchill Brothers in their last match and their last win came against Chennai City almost a month ago (January 13, 2018).

The responsibility to put the ball into the opponents’ net has largely been shared by Andrei Ionescu and Yugo Kobayashi. Aizawl have conceded goals every time they have scored first in their last three games. And against NEROCA, the defence will be Menezes’ biggest worry.

“It will be difficult because NEROCA are a good team. We expect a tough game but we are here to dignify our club so we will fight,” said Menezes.

I-League 2017/18: Neroca edge past Churchill

GOA: A heroic performance by Neroca goalkeeper Bishorjit Singh helped the Manipuri side down Churchill Brothers 1-0 after three consecutive wins in the I-League encounter at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Tuesday.

Felix Odili (22′) scored from the 12-yard penalty spot and Bishorjit stood tall between the Red Machines and the back of the net to register a much-needed victory after back-to-back defeats back at their home.

Churchill Brothers named an unchanged squad that had beaten Indian Arrows 2-0 while there were three changes for the visiting Neroca FC.

Neroca FC coach Gift Raikhan made three changes from the (0-1) defeat against Minerva Punjab FC with Saran Singh, Pritam Singh and Dhananjoy Singh coming into the playing eleven.

Govin Singh and Gopi Singh were dropped to the bench while A. Israilov did not feature in the match-day squad.

Pritam Singh made an immediate impact as he drew a double save from Churchill custodian James Kithan in the 8th minute.

Offensively, Neroca FC were the busier team early on as they were firing from all angles but their efforts were mostly flying off target.

They finally managed to find a breakthrough when Churchill Brothers’ fullback Wayne Vaz brought down Subash Singh in the box as the forward was racing down the left and the referee didn’t hesitate to award them a spot-kick in the 21st minute.

Felix Odili stepped up and coolly steered the ball under the outstretched arms of Kithan as the visitors led 1-0 in the 22nd minute.

The home side then had to make a forced substitution when Uttam Rai injured himself and Israil Gurung replaced him.

The Red Machines tried to get back into the game as they’re trying to deliver long balls to Koffi Mechac and Dawda Cissey in the middle from the middle of the pitch.

But Neroca centrebacks Gouramani Singh and Varney Kallon aided by their full-backs stood tall.

After a long passage of play that saw Churchill’s Denechandram Meetei pick up a yellow card, Churchill Brothers had their first goal-scoring opportunity in the 44th minute.

Some slick interchanges of passes saw Koffi try to beat Neroca goalkeeper Bishorjit Singh at the farthest corner but missed by a whisker.

After the changeover, Churchill Brothers started to dominate the game.

They had a great chance when Meetei put a delicious low cross into the box that was not read by the Neroca keeper and Israil Gurung almost steered it into the net only to be denied by some last-ditch clearance.

Churchill were on the ascendancy and were turning the screws on Neroca. Bishorjit had to make a timely save to deny PM Britto who tried to curl a shot into the net from 12 yards out.

Meetei also tried a shot from distance that swerved away from goal. Then came a series of attempts from a corner when Osagie Monday, Ceesay and Eldor Hussein all tried to breach the Neroca backline which held on.

Koffi had a shot after chesting down a pass from the middle but Bishorjit dived in time to hold onto it. It was then the turn of Bektur Talgat to fire at goal but that was saved again.

Until the final whistle, Neroca hanged on to their slender lead to walking away with all three points to close the gap with leaders Minerva Punjab FC who are now 2 points ahead of Gift Raikhan’s boys having played two matches fewer.

Churchill Brothers FC Goa will face another daunting task in three days when they host Minerva Punjab FC and Neroca FC will host Gokulam Kerala FC on 4th January 2018 next.

I-League 2017/18: Struggling East Bengal ready for buoyant Minerva

KOLKATA: Struggling East Bengal will have their work cut out when they host I-League leaders and title favourites Minerva Punjab in a crucial fixture on Tuesday at Barasat Stadium.

The Red and Golds suffered an embarrassing 2-0 defeat to Mohun Bagan in their most recent outing. Mohun Bagan, who were without a few of their key players like Sony Norde and Yuta Kinowaki, ran East Bengal ragged.

Minerva, on the other, will be full of confidence as they come into the game off the back of a 1-0 win over Neroca FC this past weekend.

If East Bengal’s performance in Kolkata derby is anything to go by, then they will be lucky to come out with three points, or even one against Minerva.

An six point gap separates the two sides with East Bengal sitting third on the log with 19 points while Minerva have accumulated 25 points with a couple of games in hand. A win for East Bengal would see them leapfrog surprise package Neroca FC to second place.

East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil has accepted that it’s a difficult time for his team, but remains confident in the quality of his squad. Jamil spoke about them maintaining their push for the title and three points against Minerva will keep them in the hunt for that particular objective.

According to Jamil the defeat in Kolkata Derby was a wake-up call and have thus promised an immediate response.

But the question is will they be able to get it against a side that have been truly dominant over their opponents in this season.

Minerva at the moment, are a side buoyed by their self-belief and ability to overturn deficits in any clash whatsoever.

Despite the lack of experienced campaigners, Coach Khogen Singh’s reliance on youngsters has paid dividends and it’s the same starlets he will look at to get the better of East Bengal.

Minerva cause problems for East Bengal whenever they meet, and now with individuals like Chencho Gyeltshen in their ranks, it’s sure going to be an even bigger problem for the hosts.

East Bengal, however, will fancy their chances given the visitors’ intimating form at the moment where they are win-less in last three games.

I-League 2017/18: Chencho’s Strike Helps Minerva Continue Incredible Run At The Top

IMPHAL: A first-half strike by Chencho Gyeltshen was enough for Minerva Punjab to claim three points against Neroca FC in a top-of-the-table clash in I-League at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Saturday.

In Lalit Thapa’s absence, Bishorjit Singh was handed goalkeeping duties instead of Sambu Mishtry by Neroca head coach Gift Raikhan. Govin Singh, Hopi Singh and Israilov Akhlidin were brought into the starting lineup in place of Ashok Singh, Ronald Singh and Nedo Turkovic.

Nepalese custodian Kiran Limbu replaces Rakshit Dagar in goal for Khogen Singh’s side. Bali Gagandeep and Altamash Sayed came into the lineup in place of Lago Bei and Moinuddin Khan as the visitors sought to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Minerva Punjab came out of the blocks immediately after kick-off and broke the deadlock in the second minute of the game.

A throw-in from the right into the box was flicked into the path of Chencho Gyeltshen by Bali Gagandeep and the Bhutanese forward latched onto it to send a terrific volley into the back of the net.

The visitors continued to put pressure on the home defence and Chenco was proving to be too difficult to handle. The ‘Bhutanese Ronaldo’ split Neroca’s backline to release William Asiedu through on goal but with only the goalkeeper to beat, the striker sent his shot crashing into the side-netting.

The Punjab-based side were visibly aggressive in their approach and looked hungry to double their lead.

Neroca’s inability to create chances was concerning for Raikhan and the head coach wasted no time in changing things around as he made two substitutions in the first half. Pritam Singh replaced an ineffective Akhlidin Israilov in midfield and Saran Singh was also thrown into the equation in place of Yumnam Singh.

The changes, however, failed to bring about a change in the overall flow of the game as Minerva continued to threaten in the attacking third whereas Neroca struggled to catch the visitors’ defence off-guard in the first-half.

Minerva Punjab threatened against after the restart as Chencho managed to pick out Asiedu inside the box from the right but the Ghanaian striker sent his effort into the hands of the Neroca goalkeeper who dived well to his right.

The home side had half-chances to their name in the second half but none of them was put away. A corner at the hour-mark was headed over the bar by Aryn Williams who rose highest at the near-post.

Felix Chidi missed Neroca’s best chance from inside the box in the 90th minute of the game when he shot inches wide.

Minerva Punjab managed to cruise to a win despite scoring only one goal as they defended valiantly in the final moments of the game to pick up all three points in a vital clash and to extend their lead at the top of the table.

The table toppers will once again be put to the test against East Bengal in an away game on January 30. Neroca will now take on Churchill Brothers in an away game on the same date.

I-League 2017/18: Neroca Host Minerva In A Top-Of-The-Table Clash

IMPHAL: NEROCA FC are all set to take on table toppers Minerva Punjab in a much-awaited top-of-the-table encounter at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium on Friday.

A surprise loss to Shillong Lajong in their last game ended NEROCA’s incredible nine-game unbeaten run in the league but Gift Raikhan’s boys will be relishing the opportunity to take on fellow title rivals in the hope of closing down the gap towards the top spot.

Just a solitary point separates the teams but the men from the north-east region have played two games more than the Punjab-based side.

“We should not take tomorrow’s match lightly also it should not be treated as a very difficult game also. It’s a football match after all. Last match ( against Shillong Lajong) was not our day. Tomorrow we will try our best,” expressed a confident Gift Raikhan, the man-in-charge at NEROCA FC.

Interestingly, NEROCA’s only other defeat in the league cam against Minerva Punjab in their first game of the season. In a match where Felix Chidi gave his side the lead, Chencho Gyeltshen and Lago Bei netted the goals that allowed Minerva Punjab to fight back and claim all three points.

“We know Minerva Punjab. We played our first match against them. We lost. We scored first but they scored two. We remember the match and accordingly will approach tomorrow’s game,” said Raikhan.

Lalit Thapa’s absence in between the sticks is something that will hurt NERCOA as Chencho and co. will look to test the stand-in goalkeeper with multiple attempts on goal. Goals have not been an issue for the team from Punjab, as they have managed to come up with results to comfortably claim the top spot with 22 points from nine games.

Head coach Khogen Singh will demand nothing less than a win from his side since Minerva Punjab are entering a testing phase in their dream run for the title.

“NEROCA are a good team. They are high on tempo but we are hoping to get three points from here,” said Khogen.

“It can be a turning point in the title race so we are prepared. They are a good side.”

Chencho Gyeltshen has been in supreme form for his side and Khogen Singh will be hoping that their star forward from Bhutan can continue his terrific form against NEROCA FC in what promises to be an exciting contest for football fanatics.

I-League 2017/18: Lajong Upset Neroca To End Their Enviable Unbeaten Run

IMPHAL: First-half goals by Saihou Jagne and Abdoulaye Koffi sealed a comfortable 2-0 win for Shillong Lajong against NEROCA at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium on Wednesday. The loss brought NEROCA’s nine-game unbeaten run to an end.

Shambu Mishtry continued in between the sticks for NEROCA as Gift Raikhan set his team up to ensure that their unbeaten run stayed intact. Felix Chidi led the line and was flanked by Ronald Singh and an in-form Subash Singh.

Laurence Doe, Samuel Lalmuanpuoa, Daniel Odafin, Saihou Jagne and Abdoulaye Koffi all started for Lajong as Bobby Nongbet opted for a strong starting lineup to get back to winning ways.

NEROCA started brightly and showed intent when Subash Singh outfoxed Laurence Doe before forcing Nidhin Lal to a very good save.

However, it was Shillong Lajong that broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. Saihou Jagne opened his account in I-League as he controlled a long ball from Rakesh Pradhan before slotting it past a helpless Mishtry to give his side a shocking lead.

The visitors struck another blow five minutes later through Abdoulaye Koffi. Novin Gurung’s cross was headed into the net by the Ivorian striker to double his side’s lead with a lot of the first-half left to play.

Gift Raikhan reacted to the double blow by bringing on David Lalbiakzara in place of Ronald Singh in the 28th minute but NEROCA remained second-best as Lajong continued their forays forward.

Jagne only needed to beat Mishtry to notch his brace at the half-hour mark but the custodian was quick to come off his line and collect the ball before the Gambian striker could launch a shot at goal.

Nedo Turkovic looked to have given the home side hope when he put the ball into the back of the net from a free-kick after the restart but the goal was disallowed as he was adjudged to have used his arm to guide the ball in.

Nidhin Lal landed awkwardly as he kept out Subash Singh’s effort in the 53rd minute but was back up on his feet in no time as Lajong displayed incredible fighting spirit to hold on to their two-goal lead.

Turkovic was able to get into the box from the right and square it into the path of Felix Chidi but the Nigerian striker shot went wide. Second-half substitute Sushil Singh failed to release the trigger after dancing his way past challenges and getting to the byline inside the box and his failure to get a shot allowed the Lajong defenders to heave sighs of relief.

Lajong’s spirit until the final whistle ended NEROCA’s incredible unbeaten run and handed them just their second defeat of the season.

Shillong Lajong will now travel to Calicut to face Gokulam on January 28, 2018. NEROCA will lock horns against Minerva Punjab in a top-of-the-table clash in I-League on January 27, 2018.

I-League 2017/18: Neroca stun Aizawl with comeback win

AIZAWL: In a game with an abundance of chances for both sides, Neroca FC triumphed over the reigning champions Aizawl FC at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium to leapfrog East Bengal in the league table.

Nigerian defender Kareem Omolaja (39′) scored for the home side in the first half but Neroca bravely fought back in the second half as Felix Chidi (65′) and Nedo Turkovic (85′) scored in the second half to humble the champions at their home.

Aizawl’s head coach Paulo Menezes made two changes in the playing XI as Lalramhmunmawia and Yugo Kobayashi started in place of suspended Afghan defender Masih Saighani and William Lalnunfela.

The away side made no changes from their win against Indian Arrows. Shambu Mistry was in goal and Gourmangi Singh led the defence alongside Varney Kallon, Ngaseoam Tondonba, and Ashok Singh.

Aizawl got their first shot in the goal in the first minute of the match itself but Andrei’s volley was thwarted away by Shambu. The home side came close to scoring but Andrei’s dipping free-kick struck the woodwork. Neroca fans sang their hearts out in the corner of the stadium but were silenced by Kareem’s goal. The lanky defender leapt above the Neroca’s players as he headed his first goal of the season home.

Gift Raikhan’s boys almost drew the equaliser just before the halftime. Felix Chidi did all the hard work as he skipped past Aizawl defenders, he slid a delightful pass to Subash Singh but the Manipuri forward could not find the back of the neck. Aizawl led by a single in the first half.

The halftime break proved vital for the away side as they started to dominate the game in the second half. But it was the home side who had the first goalscoring chance after the lemon break. Dodoz’s cross was met by Andrei but the Romanian shot again struck the woodwork.

Felix Chidi scored the equaliser in the 65th minute after a wonderful team game broke Aizawl defence.

As everyone in the Aizawl FC dugout started to believe to leave the stadium with one point at least, Turkovic stunned them in the dying embers of the game when he perfectly converted David Biakzara’s cross from the left wing.

Aizawl went all out but the away side’s resolute defence and the heroic goalkeeping from Shambu Mistry denied the reigning champions a point in their fortress.

Aizawl will host Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in their next game on Thursday (January 25) and Neroca will play another Northeastern Derby when they host Shillong Lajong on Wednesday (January 24).