I-League 2018-19: NEROCA convincingly beat Indian Arrows
I-League Media
The hosts cruised past the young guns who were unable to defend well for the entirety of the ninety minutes...

NEROCA FC defeated Indian Arrows 3-0 in an I-League clash at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium, Imphal, on Friday. 

Katsumi Yusa (29'), Felix Chidi (54') and Malemnganba Meitei (84') were on target for the hosts who have now displaced Minerva Punjab (11) from the second place on account of a better goal difference (+3). The Arrows remain at the bottom with three points.

NEROCA coach Manuel Retamero made no changes from his side that defeated Shillong Lajong 2-1. Meanwhile, Arrows' tactician Floyd Pinto also chose to continue with the same 11 that lost against Minerva Punjab. 

The young Indian side were forced on to the back foot right from the start but managed to get the first shot on target when Rahim Ali forced an easy save from Lalit Thapa in the ninth minute.

In the 15th minute, Narender Gahlot made a timely intervention to foil Chidi's attempt from Malem's cross from the right.

The Arrows had a couple of chances as Rahul KP was kept at bay by Eduardo Ferreira from receiving Rahim Ali's delivery. Then, Rahim himself headed wide from a corner taken by Sanjeev Stalin in the 25th minute.

NEROCA eventually broke the deadlock in the 29th minute when Yusa flicked the ball past Prabsukhan Gill from a tight angle after being fed by Subash Singh as the Arrows defence went to sleep. 

Arrows could have had an equaliser in the 34th minute when Rahul KP failed to get a final touch on a through ball from Rahim before Lalit Thapa scooped the ball off his feet in a one-on-one situation.

The visitors could have at least pulled back a goal before half-time as Rahul was once again the guilty party as he smashed his attempt wide after Rahim had done all the necessary spadework. 

It took NEROCA less than 10 minutes in the second half to double their lead as Chidi beat Gill with a well-placed effort. 

The Arrows had an opportunity to pull a goal back when Rahul headed straight at Thapa in the 64th minute, after which they could not create clear-cut chances. 

Retamero's side further piled the misery for Arrows as Malem strolled in at the far post to slot in Williams' cross from the right to make it 3-0 in the 84th minute.

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