I-League: NEROCA FC snatch a point from Gokulam Kerala
IMPHAL, 31st Oct: NEROCA FC and Gokulam Kerala played out a 1-1 draw in their I-League 2018-19 clash at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium in Imphal, Manipur. Boaringdao Bodo (45') came off the bench to put the Malabarians ahead just before half-time but Eduardo Ferreira's 59th-minute equaliser ensured a point for the hosts.
Manuel Retamero made two changes from the side that lost 2-0 against East Bengal. With Katsumi Yusa out injured, Rojen Singh was replaced by Varney Kallon while Saikhom Ronald also made his way in.
Bino George also made a few changes after Gokulam Kerala drew 1-1 against Mohun Bagan in their opener. D Kumar, Salman K, Arjun Jayaraj and G Nigam paved way for Mohammed Rashid, Ningthojam Pritam, Monotosh Chakladar and Rajesh S.
Gokulam Kerala got off to a positive start but the home side soon began creating more chances, especially from a number of setpieces but were unable to capitalise on them.
The visitors were only beginning to create a few half chances before Malemngamba's cross was somehow headed wide by Aryn Williams from close range at the opposite end.Gokulam's plan of attacking on the counter finally paid off as Bodo, who replaced Rashid, finished with aplomb after being sent through by Pritam.
However, Pritam was also in a way responsible for the equaliser as NEROCA equalised from the free-kick that was a result of his foul on Ronald. Subash Singh's curling delivery saw Yendrembam Metei put it on a platter for Malembgamba who in turn slipped it towards goal where Ferreira was at hand to score.
Antonio German and Bodo both wasted their chances to regain the lead. The NEROCA custodian was also at hand to keep out an effort by substitute Suhail before blocking out Pritam in another move later in the game.
As a result, NEROCA FC now have a point from two games while Gokulam Kerala have two from as many games.