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Hero I-league Matchday Fixtures – 1st Feb

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Ruthless RoundGlass play Churchill Brothers with an eye on ISL promotion and Sudeva aim to avoid the drop.

 Still smarting under the disastrous 0-8 defeat against RoundGlass Punjab in Panchkula, Delhi-based Sudeva FC are now back on their home turf, hoping to make the most of the next tie versus NEROCA FC in the Hero I-League 2022-23 at the Chhatrasal Stadium on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. The kick-off is at 2:00 pm IST.

Apart from the humiliating loss against the Punjab outfit, Sudeva FC had a rather successful campaign in the month of February, winning three games against Rajasthan United (3-2), Mumbai Kenkre (3-1) and TRAU (4-1).

They also held league leaders RoundGlass Punjab to a draw (1-1) in their own backyard. But the massive loss at Panchkula has left them licking their wounds, and they will have to do everything to recover from the shock and lift the sagging morale of the footballers.

Sankarlal Chakraborty confident of a comeback

In the pre-match press conference, Sudeva Delhi head coach Sankarlal Chakraborty said he was confident that his team would shrug off the disappointment and make a comeback. “We won’t face the same result again. I have asked the players to forget about the match as soon as possible and have motivated them for the next match, the Sudeva coach said.

Chakraborty also emphasised the importance of focusing on young players for the remainder of the season. “We aim to win the remaining matches and improve our youth players’ performances, and end the campaign on a high note. This is our target,” he commented.

On the upcoming match against NEROCA, Chakraborty said he expected a tough fight. “It will be a tough fight, as expected. I, like everyone else, want our team to win and move up the rankings, surpassing Kenkre tomorrow,” Chakraborty said.

NEROCA FC, on the other hand, have gone through many ups and downs this season. After struggling in the first half of the season, when they mostly stayed in the relegation zone, NEROCA went on to win four consecutive games at home and climb up the table. However, recent results have taken them back down to 10th place.

Gyan Moyon bemoans injuries and suspensions

NEROCA FC’s assistant coach, Gyan Moyon, believes that injuries and suspensions midway through the season cost them many points, but he is positive about their upcoming match. “We started the second half of the season well. However, the injuries and suspensions caused us trouble. But we are back at full strength now. Our expectation is to win the game and get the three points,” Moyon said.

When asked about Sudeva Delhi’s recent big loss, Moyon said it shouldn’t have any impact on Wednesday’s game. “Each game is different, sometimes the team play well and sometimes they are unlucky to concede too many goals,” he said.

Now that the competition for the Hero I-League title has become a two-horse race, RoundGlass Punjab cannot afford to drop points in the last three matches. The way they demolished Sudeva Delhi FC the other day, showed Staikos Vergetis’s side can up the ante when it is imperative. They turned the pressure of grabbing the top spot from Sreenidi Deccan into an opportunity and did the job clinically.

An eight-goal victory would have been scary for the next opponents at any stage of any league, and coming at a point when winning every match is necessary, it is even more intimidating. Churchill Brothers, the team RoundGlass play here at Tau Devi Lal Stadium on Wednesday, would definitely be wary of that.