NEROCA FC's rise to the top of the I-League table after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Gokulam Kerala in Imphal on Sunday has made the entire state of Manipur happy, claims coach Gift Raikhan. Meanwhile, the losing team's coach, Bino George, felt that his team did not deserve to lose after dominating the game.
Bino George pointed out that his side hit the woodwork more than once through Bahraini midfielder Mahmood Al Ajmi and on the balance of play, his team should have won.
"In today's (Sunday) match, NEROCA did not play good. We came for an away match and if you look at possession, we played better," he asserted.
"We dominated the second half and we hit the post thrice and I have to appreciate my team. Our team is slowly gelling and our players are playing well. Today, NEROCA were not good enough I thought."
Bino George also went on to state that NEROCA were guilty of playing the long ball game. "NEROCA played direct football and never tried to play possession football and they tried to play safe.
"I appreciate them because they wanted a win somehow because they wanted to go top. We tried to build our game from the back but we did not get the result. I'm appreciating them regardless."
Gift Raikhan also agreed to Bino George's assessment that his team did not play well but shared his delight at claiming all three points.
"Our performance was not good but we got the three points which is very good. Winning is always a good feeling and we are top of the I-League and all the people in Manipur are also happy I think," he said.