NEROCA found themselves on a five-game losing streak which has left them at the bottom of Group B with eight points after 13 games. They confirmed their relegation after their 0-1 loss to Sudeva Delhi.
Clayvin Zuniga's 16th-minute strike was enough to give Fernando Varela's side all three points in a game full of chances.
I-League 2019-20: Phillip Adjah Tettey's hat-trick sees Neroca FC beat Punjab FC in seven-goal thriller
Tettey gave Neroca the lead in the fifth minute before Dipanda Dicka restored parity three minutes later by scoring his 50th I-League goal
I-League 2019-20: Hosts Neroca FC escape dropping into relegation zone with 3-2 win over Gokulam Kerala
Hosts Neroca FC eked out a narrow 3-2 win over Gokulam Kerala FC in their I-League clash to come out of the relegation zone.
I-League 2019-20: Hat-trick hero Dipanda Dicka caps stunning comeback win for Minerva Punjab FC against Neroca FC
Cameroonian striker Dicka is also now the sole top scorer of the league with eight goals to his name.
I-League 2019-20: Boubacar Diarra's goal guides NEROCA FC to victory over Real Kashmir, end four-match winless run
Malian forward Boubacar Diarra scored the match-winner as NEROCA FC beat Real Kashmir 1-0 to snap their four-match winless streak in the I-League.
Former champions Aizawl FC huffed and puffed before beating Gokulam Kerala FC 3-2 in a high-scoring I-League match on Saturday.
I-League 2017-18: Minerva Punjab presented with winners' trophy; NEROCA's Gift Raikhan named season's best coach
Hero I-League champions Minerva Punjab FC were presented with the winner's trophy at a glittering function in Chandigarh on Thursday.
I-League 2017-18: NEROCA FC's runners-up finish is the beginning, not the end of their fairytale run
Just like the way Shillong Lajong and Aizawl inspired clubs from the northeast to make it big, NEROCA want to be the latest one to set an example
I-League 2017-18: East Bengal's potent attack meets NEROCA's mean defence as title hangs in the balance
East Bengal and NEROCA FC square off at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata on Thursday, knowing that even a victory in this heavyweight clash may not be enough to secure the title
While Gift Raikhan's first trip to Kolkata as manager to face East Bengal saw his career to take off for good, his second has the potential put him among the very elite.
With nine wins and four draws from their 17 matches so far, NEROCA have had a fairly consistent run this season. They are currently second on the table proven we belong here."
I-League 2017-18: Dipanda Dicka's brace helps Mohun Bagan win thriller to dent NEROCA FC's title hopes
NEROCA built the attack as the game progressed but weren't able to penetrate the Bagan defence, ending the game on the losing side and leaving the title race unpredictable.
With the draw, Neroca remained on second spot in the league table with 28 points from 15 matches, one point less than table toppers Minerva Punjab.
NEROCA will now host Northeastern rivals Aizawl FC on 10 February whereas the Kerala outfit will travel to Kolkata to lock horns with Mohun Bagan two days later.
NEROCA could not recover from an early jolt and the vocal 15,000-odd crowd that turned up at the Khuman Lampak Stadium returned home disappointed.
Ngangom Ronald's injury-time winner saw Chennai lose to NEROCA despite Jean-Michel Joachim cancelling out Kallon Kiatamba's first-half strike.
I-League 2017-18: Singam Subash Singh's brace helps Neroca FC beat Indian Arrows to move to 2nd in table
A first-half brace by Subash Singh (39th, 45th minutes) helped Neroca outplay a young Indian Arrows side for the majority of the game.
Despite the draw, East Bengal are on top of the league table with 14 points from seven matches while I-League newbies Neroca are on third with 11 points from six games.
I-League 2017-18: Khalid Jamil's East Bengal look to consolidate top spot with victory over NEROCA FC
A confident NEROCA FC will look to exploit the home advantage when they lock horns with table-toppers Kingfisher East Bengal in an I-League match in Imphal.