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Indian Arrows set to host NEROCA in their second stint in Goa

Indian Arrows training session (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)

The Indian Arrows would be looking to avenge their defeat in the reverse fixture as they come up against NEROCA FC. The margin of victory was slender as NEROCA won 2-1 but the game in Goa could be a very different affair. The Luis Norton de Matos led side have once again made Goa their home as they face NEROCA who have exceeded all expectations by sitting in third place on the table.

“It is all about action and commitment. So my team always wants to be on top. Like how we are doing now. So we will try our best. Maybe here it is a little bit different. The weather and it’s a different place. But the commitment is same from the beginning,” NEROCA FC coach Gift Raikhan said on the eve of the match.

However, the coach doesn’t want his players to take the Indian Arrows lightly. The Arrows come into the game full of confidence after their victory against Gokulam Kerala FC that helped them get back to winning ways.

“Indian Arrows is not an easy team. That’s why they are doing very good. Back to back, they are winning. The young lads have a lot of energy and are dynamic. They are doing very good. But football is football,” he said.

Meanwhile, his counterpart Luis Norton de Matos sounded about his team’s effort so far.

“If you told me in the beginning that we will have ten points from ten games, I think it is very honest for the team with our reality. One point each game, in all competitions, if you get one point then you never go down in the division,” the Portuguese coach said.

The team has recorded three wins and one draw which also had some big results like a 1-1 draw against Mohun Bagan. “Of course we will try to get more points. My feeling is we can get 12-13 points with the remaining games we have. Three wins and one draw, and the quality of some games we played, I think it is very positive until now in the competition. Maybe God must be protecting the team because you are playing against foreign players and senior players and sometimes you can lose 5-6 nil they are prepared for that,” Matos suggested.

The Indian Arrows have shown this season that they are ready to fight until the end and the match against NEROCA saw them giving the Manipuri side a scare with an 89th-minute goal.

“I’m happy with the way this team plays. They play with passion,” he added.

Both teams have been impressive so far this season as the I-League has reached the half-way stage and the performances of both teams have not gone unnoticed. NEROCA’s title tilt is reminiscent of Aizawl FC’s season last year but their coach is cautious.

“Every coach wants to be on top and every player likes to give a performance. We have shown that as we are third now. That’s why players are playing good that’s why we are there. There is a long way to go. It is only halfway. But anything can happen in football,” Gift Raikhan signed off.

The match is scheduled at 8pm and it’ll be telecast on Star Sports 2/2 HD and streamed live on Hotstar, Jio TV.

(I-League Media)