I-League 2021: NEROCA FC Judah Garcia scores brace in 4-0 win over Indian Arrows, Aizawl FC beat Gokulam Kerala

Varney Kallon and Khaiminthang Lhungdim also scored a goal each as NEROCA bagged their first win of the season.

Press Trust of India January 20, 2021 21:14:31 IST
I-League 2021: NEROCA FC Judah Garcia scores brace in 4-0 win over Indian Arrows, Aizawl FC beat Gokulam Kerala

Judah Garcia scored a brace for NEROCA FC against Indian Arrows. Twitter@ILeagueOfficial

Kalyani: Judah Garcia struck twice as NEROCA FC blanked Indian Arrows 4-0 in an I-League match at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Wednesday.

Varney Kallon and Khaiminthang Lhungdim also scored a goal each as NEROCA bagged their first win of the season.

It was one-way traffic in the first half as NEROCA seldom sat back in defence, playing attacking football and committing bodies to put pressure on the young Arrows side.

In the sixth minute, Khangam Horam missed a sitter for NEROCA when his shot from inside the box went inches over the bar, with only the opposition goalkeeper to beat. Five minutes later, Garcia's shot from a tight angle flew just wide from the goal.

The first clear chance for the Indian Arrows came in the 17th minute when Harsh Patre's freekick from the edge of the box was heroically saved by Bishorjit Singh.

But despite the Arrows' valiant efforts to grab an early lead, the young side conceded two goals in quick succession as the complexion of the match changed.

First, Garcia's strike from distance stunned the Arrows' goalkeeper and caught him off guard, as the ball crept in from his near post to hand NEROCA the lead on the 27th minute.

Then, on the 30th minute, Varney Kallon slotted home to double the Manipur outfit's lead.

The Arrows tried to restrict the action in NEROCA's half before going into the half-time two goals behind their opponents.

In the 55th minute, NEROCA could have gone 3-0 up had Garcia found the net from inside the box after he was found by a clever cross from the wing.

A minute later, Gurkirat Singh earned a free-kick for the Indian Arrows from 30 yards out. Lalchannhima Sailo's free-kick was headed by Vanlalruatfela Thlacheu and the forward's header went inches past the goal as NEROCA survived a scare.

Down but not out, the Indian Arrows kept fighting.

In the 61st minute, the Arrows were given a golden opportunity to reduce their deficit after Vanlalruatfela found himself free inside the box. The forward tried to turn his marker and finish the ball into the top corner but dragged it wide of goal.

In the 66th minute, much against the run of play, Garcia robbed the Arrows of possession in their defending third and ran onto the goal. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Garcia slotted home with ease to hand NEROA a three-goal lead.

Lhungdim found another goal for the Manipur club in the 72nd minute to make the score-line 4-0.

Aizawl ease past Gokulam Kerala

Former champions Aizawl FC grabbed their first win of the I-League season after defeating Gokulam Kerala FC 2-0 at the Mohun Bagan Training Ground on Wednesday.

Strikes from Malsawmzuala (40th) and Lalrammawia (76th) were enough to hand Aizawl the three points.

Aizawl FC started the match on an attacking note and they could have taken the lead in the third minute had Lalremsanga's header off a cross from the right flank not been heroically saved by the opposition custodian.

Gokulam Kerala FC mostly relied on counter-attacks and in the 21st minute, their Afghan import Sharif Mohammad found Philip Adjah with an inch-perfect through ball. Adjah, however, failed to dink the ball over an onrushing goalkeeper.

ILeague 2021 NEROCA FC Judah Garcia scores brace in 40 win over Indian Arrows Aizawl FC beat Gokulam Kerala

Aizawl FC celebrate after scoring against Gokulam Kerala. Twitter@ILeagueOfficial

Adjah found himself in action once again in the 33rd minute but his shot from a tight angle got lost in the jungle of Aizawl legs as it went out for a corner.

The breakthrough for Aizawl FC came in the 40th minute when Malsawmzuala was brought down inside the box after a cross from the right-wing. The forward slotted it comfortably from the spot to give Aizawl the lead.

Both teams could have gone into the tunnel on level terms had Sharif Mohammad's freekick from the edge of the box not hit the woodwork. But as things stood, Aizawl led at half-time.

In the 62nd minute, Dennis Antwi tried to curl one into the top corner around the goalkeeper, but hit the woodwork as Aizawl FC survived another scare.

Gokulam Kerala pressed hard for the equaliser, committing more men in attack. In the 69th minute, Philip Adjah was handed a golden opportunity to score after he was put through on goal by a sublime through ball from Jitin.

Adjah, however, shot straight to the keeper.

With Gokulam not taking chances in front of goal, Aizawl FC killed the game in the 76th minute when Lalrammawia connected a corner kick and side-footed the ball into the back of the net.

Updated Date:

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