Imphal: Northeast rivals NEROCA FC and Aizawl FC will be facing off at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Friday as round two of the 13th I-League gets underway. The match is scheduled to kick off at 2PM IST and will be broadcast LIVE on DSPORT.
Aizawl FC faced Mohun Bagan at home in the opening day of the season and earned a point through a spirited display against the Kolkata giants. NEROCA FC, on the other hand, travelled to Kozhikode on the opening day but were beaten 1-2 by impressive Gokulam Kerala FC.
Both sides clash on Friday in a bid to register their first win of the I-League 2019-20 season.
Aizawl FC were in action in the Mizoram Premier League on December 3, and as a result, will have a few tired legs in their squad.
Reflecting on their performance in the opening fixture, Stanley Rozario, head coach of Aizawl FC said, “I am pleased with the performance of my players against Mohun Bagan and I wanted to get something out of the match, and we earned one important point.”
Weighing in on the tight schedule and their opponents, he added, “It’s a very tight schedule and I don’t want my players to get any injuries. NEROCA are a good team and have a full squad with foreigners and will come strongly against us. It’s also their first home match and they will get the home support as well. My players are confident, motivated and ready to take on them. I want my players to continue with the same team spirit and approach the match with a positive mindset.”
Gift Raikhan, head coach of NEROCA FC spoke about the challenges his squad faced to play Gokulam in their opener. “It was a very difficult journey for us. It was the first match of the season. We travelled 3500 kilometres away from home. We trained on 29th and played the next day. But that’s the beauty of football and you have to endure those challenges in a long league,” he said.
Even in defeat, he remained positive and asserted, “We fought and we showed that we were strong mentally, physically and technically. We feel sad about the result but we are back at home. The match is very important. We need three points against Aizawl but first of all, we need to relax, recover and then plan. Everything will be alright.”
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