OCTOBER 31, IMPHAL: Gokulam Kerala FC and NEROCA FC played out an entertaining draw, 1-1, at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium in Imphal on Wednesday. Substitute Bodo put Gokulam Kerala FC upfront at the stroke of the first-half whistle but NEROCA found the equalizer through Eduardo Ferreira’s 59th-minute goal.
Though Gokulam had created several chances, a superb performance by NEROCA’s Italian goalie Mauro Boerchio ensured that the match ended in a draw.
Gokulam Kerala FC started the match with a spirited display, creating several chances down the flanks but later on NEROCA upped the ante and gained most of the possession in the first half. Antonio German had a few clear-cut chances on goal but he was not able to score from it.
Former NEROCA player Pritam Singh was outstanding on the right flank as he created several chances with his pace and dribbling. His efforts finally materialized as Bodo, who was subbed in for Muhammed Rashid in the 35th minute, scored from his assist in the 45 th minute to put Gokulam Kerala FC upfront with a sublime finish.
Gokulam defenders Addo and Fabricio saved the team several times at the start of the second half as NEROCA FC players attacked in numbers. A defensive lapse during a set-piece near Gokulam box resulted in the equalizer by unmarked Eduardo Ferreira as he collected a deflected shot to finish rather easily.
The goal again shifted the momentum of the match as Gokulam started to show more intent. The best chance for Gokulam came in the 63 rd minute as Antonio German had a one-on-one situation with NEROCA goalie but the striker was not able to finish it. He took too much time to shoot and he was closed down successfully by the goalie.
Bino subbed in VP Suhair for German later on and this increased Gokulam’s tempo. He had a beautiful chance to score with a sumptuous turn but his thundering shot was saved by NEROCA goalie. Bodo also had another shot on goal but NEROCA custodian played spoilsport again.
Suhair continued to pester NEROCA defense and he won a free-kick just near NEROCA box in the dying minutes of the match. Castro’s ensuing free-kick flew past the woodwork narrowly and the match ended in a stalemate.
RESULT: NEROCA FC 1 (Eduardo Ferreira 59) drew with Gokulam Kerala FC 1 (Bodo 45)