Manipur-based outfit NEROCA clinched a draw in the final moments of the match when Nedo Turkovic found the net in the 89th minute to cancel out Katsumi Yusa’s 13th minute strike.
Speaking on the result, NEROCA’s gaffer Gift Raikhan stated that his troops were aware of Reds and Golds’ strategy. Further, he explained his tactics which led to the equalizing goal and praised his goal-scorer. ‘’This was all about the plan because we knew East Bengal was going to score against us. After East Bengal scored, we had a plan with what to do, so I put Gouramangi (Singh) in defense and (Aryn Glen) Williams up-front in order to have more strength in the attack. I knew that the new player Nedo (Turkovic) was going to play; I know him very well because I’d seen him two weeks back and knew he was going to score,’’ commented Raikhan.
The draw meant that NEROCA are now placed third on the league standings, just below East Bengal and Minerva Punjab. Delighted with the result, he mentioned, ‘’I’m very happy as this is a bright future for Manipur. NEROCA will be level with Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.''
On the other hand, East Bengal’s head-coach Khalid Jamil seemed dissatisfied with the result and believed that the Arnab Mondal-led side could have clinched full points at Khuman Lampak Stadium. ‘’Everybody played well and tried to get a positive result but if we had the concentration, we could have had the three points,’’ he signed off.