Aizawl FC and Neroca FC played out a goalless draw at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Wednesday. Despite Aizawl having a better chance to win all three points on their home turf, the match ended with both team sharing the spoils as they both now have two points from three matches.
Both the northeastern sides are placed at the bottom of the table. It was a day to remember for both the goalkeepers. Gurpreet from Aizawl and Maouro Boerchio for Neroca put up good performances as they both registered their first clean sheets this season.
With their custodians in good shape, the problem of the strikers not doing enough is something which would haunt both the coaches.
This was for the first time that Gift Raikhan, the Aizawl FC coach was competing against his previous team Neroca FC with whom he had good time last season and he opted to go for the same playing XI that had clinched a breath-taking draw against Mohun Bagan the other night.
Neroca FC coach Manuel Fraile brought in four changes but it was the former champions, who threatened to take an early lead. Statistically, they were the dominant side as they earned for themselves six corners in just the first 30 minutes in the match but somehow failed to score from any one of them.
Aizawl came close to scoring the opener when a corner wasn’t properly cleared by the Neroca defence and Alfred Jaryan decided to cash in on that opportunity as he banged one from outside the keepers’ area but that effort was saved.
In the second half, Neroca started gaining momentum as Malem came close to scoring in a space of four minutes. However, such chances went begging for Neroca as Felix and Australian Aryn Williams missed opportunities. In the 54th minute, Jerry was unmarked inside the box but his shot was saved well by Gurpreet.
Ansumanah Kromah on the other hand, squandered a lot of opportunities for Aizawl, most of them being off-side.
Image credit- Goal.com