You are currently viewing I-league Matchday Fixture : Real Kashmir Vs NEROCA

I-league Matchday Fixture : Real Kashmir Vs NEROCA

Real Kashmir FC are back home after a string of away matches and they are also back to winning ways in the Hero I-League 2022-23. The away matches did not go well, which eventually led to the departure of their coach Mehrajuddin Wadoo. New coach Gifton Noel-Williams’ stint has started with an encouraging 4-2 victory against bottom-placed Sudeva Delhi. A bigger challenge awaits him against NEROCA FC here at the TRC Stadium on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 2 pm IST.

Real Kashmir are just two points ahead of NEROCA right now, having played a match less. So NEROCA can overtake them with a win tomorrow. The gap of a couple of points between the two sides is mainly because of the excellent home streak Real Kashmir had in the earlier part of the season. But since the turn of the year, Khogen Singh’s NEROCA have been much better. They have had four wins and have only lost to Sreenidi Deccan and RoundGlass Punjab, the top two sides on the Hero I-League table at the moment.

Khogen is a fine tactician and his boys have kept improving. His foreigner forwards Jourdain Fletcher and Kamo Bayi have found scoring form, and Sweden Fernandes has been a constant threat with his speed. His defence, however, has struggled to keep a clean sheet. They will have to pull up their socks as Real Kashmir, particularly at home, are a very good attacking side. With even Jestin George and Richard Agyemang from defence scoring in the last game, it will be a tough job to contain the home side.

The NEROCA coach was understandably confident on the eve of the match. “Tomorrow is an away match but out confidence is high as we have been in good form of late,” he said. “In our previous meeting, we created more chances than them, but they were able to convert the chance they got, so they won. But back then our team was less experienced and less cohesive. We have improved in the meantime.”

Talking about the opponents, he said, “Real Kashmir are a good side, but they have changed their coach there have been a lot of changes in personnel and strategy.”

The ability to identify the rivals’ strength came to the fore when Khogen remarked, “We have to be very careful about set pieces because they are particularly good in that. We hope to get three points but if that’s not possible, at least one point.”

Real Kashmir coach Noel-Williams made it clear that he is not somebody who can be easily satisfied. “There were so many heartening things in the last match but there’s still so much to improve on. I’m not going to reveal all my secrets, but I can only say I’ve been working on some things in the classroom and in practice. Hopefully, some of that work will help tomorrow,” he remarked. He added that Phrangki Buam will take Girik Khosla’s place in the starting eleven.

“I’m sure NEROCA are a team that wants to avenge the first-leg defeat. But we know how good a team they are and how they play their game. Hopefully we can overcome them with our determination and hunger,” the coach signed off.

The match will be telecast live on Eurosport, DD Sports and Discovery Plus OTT platform from 2 pm.