NEROCA FC edge Gokulam Kerala to move out from drop zone
NEROCA FC Gokulam Kerala I-League 2019-20
The Manipuri side got back to winning ways to keep their hopes of staying afloat in the league while Gokulam took a hit on their title chances

NEROCA FC rallied to a win in a five-goal thriller against Gokulam Kerala in an I-League 2019-20 encounter at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium, on Friday.

Pritam Singh (2') gave the hosts an early advantage but Shibil Muhammed (25') and Nathaniel Garcia (40') got the Malabarians back in the game. A dominant second half by NEROCA paid dividends as Phillip Adjah (48') and Ronald Singh (81') scored. 

Gift Raikhan made three changes to his XI after a 6-2 loss against Mohun Bagan as Bishorjit Singh, Ousmane Diawara and Jiteshwor Singh replaced Marvin Phillip, Zodingliana Ralte and Varun Thokchom.

Fernando Valera brought in Jestin George, Nicholas Fernandes and Atutheire Kipson in place of Andre Etienne, Muthu Mayakkannan and Henry Kisekka.

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Just two minutes in, Pritam was alert to pick up a loose ball around the edge of the Gokulam box before turning it onto his left foot and sending a powerful shot into the top right corner to give the hosts the lead.

Marcus Joseph dissected the rival defence to play a ball towards Shibil who rushed in to round off the NEROCA goalkeeper to score the equaliser in the 25th minute.

Gokulam then took the lead as Garcia met Joseph's cross with an unstoppable right-footed half-volley in the 40th minute that bulged the net. 

NEROCA FC Gokulam Kerala I-League 2019-20

After the break, Sebastian Thangmuansang's throw-in left Irshad vulnerable and Adjah made the best of his opportunity to slot home in the 48th minute.

Both teams continued on equal footing until around the 70th minute when Subash forced a save from Kadavath before Joseph shot wide at the other end. Kisekka, who replaced Nicholas Fernandes in the 64th minute, missed the target twice within 10 minutes.

However, mistakes in the Gokulam box continued as Jestin awkwardly tried to head a low cross by substitute Chanso Horam and Ronald took a bite of the cherry by charging in to force the ball across the goal line to earn three valuable points for his side in the relegation battle.


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