Kozhikode, March 2 (IANS) Neroca FC will look to consolidate their fifth position in the I-league standings when they take on Gokulam Kerala FC at the EMS Corporation stadium, here on Sunday.
The home team is fighting to stave off relegation, currently placed 10th among 11 teams with 14 points from 18 games. They need to win both their remaining encounters to stay afloat.
Gokulam Kerala have lost seven in 12 games. They simply have to give it their all on Sunday.
Neroca, on the other hand, despite going down narrowly in their previous game against champions Minerva, have shown enough capabilities throughout to confirm the fifth position in a highly competitive league.
Manuele Fraile has built together a fighting unit, which have delivered above average on all key game parameters.
In the first-leg between the two sides, a Baoringdao Bodo goal for Gokulam had cancelled out a Eduardo strike for Neroca and both sides had shared the spoils at the Khuman Lampak in Imphal.
The only thing going for Sunday’s homeside is their new Trinidadian recruit Marcus Joseph who has scored in every game. He has five to his credit and with his form might spell trouble for Neroca.
Gokulam Kerala FC technical director Gift Raikhan said, “Neroca is a good team and have strong players. I hope we do not make any mistake in defending tomorrow and we should score. I pray to God that everything should be fine for us tomorrow.”
“Our players will remember whatever mistakes they have committed in the last match and approach in a way that there will be a balance in attacking and defending and win with a good result.”
Neroca however, have one of the strongest attack and defence lines of the league. They are the league’s fourth highest scorers with 24 goals and have conceded 21 goals until now.
It is this consistency that might help them over the line on Sunday. Also, Neroca are well rested for 10 days. Gokulam will play their second game in four days that too after a 3-1 drubbing at home to Aizawl FC. Key players like Katsumi Yusa, Felix Chidi and Singham Subash Singh are also in good form and the quality attack might just prove the difference between the two sides on Sunday.