TRAU FC maintain perfect home record, Gokulam Kerala hold NEROCA to goalless draw

Imphal, Dec 15 (PTI) NEROCA FC held Gokulam Kerala to a goalless draw, halting the defending champions’ winning run at home in the ongoing Hero I-League while hosts TRAU FC defeated Rajasthan United 3-1 on Thursday.

Rajasthan United had a strong start to the game while Bektur Amangeldiev looked lively for the hosts but he failed to avail the opportunities that came his way. For Rajasthan, the first big chance came in the sixth minute when Martin Chaves launched a strong strike on goal. However, the home custodian tipped the shot from the Uruguayan over the bar in the nick of time.

At the half-hour mark, Tursunov was in the thick of things as he was fouled by Rajasthan’s William Pauliankhum. From the resultant free kick, Tursunov struck a powerful shot. The Rajasthan custodian Vishal Joon, confused by the swirl, misjudged the trajectory of the ball and failed to keep it out of the goal.

Just before half-time, Rajasthan goalkeeper conceded a free kick inside the box for handling a back pass. From the indirect free kick, Godfred Yeboah rolled the ball for Tursunov and the Tajik beat the goalkeeper with a powerful shot.

In the 64th minute, Mambetaliev won a corner for the visitors. Chaves played a one-two with Horam before sending the ball into the six-yard area and substitute Amritpal Singh managed to get a head on the ball. The ball hit the post before going in as the Desert Warriors got one back.

Rajasthan’s woes continued as substitute goalkeeper Ali Sardar took too long to pass the ball before he was closed down by Baoringdao Bodo, who went on to score the third for the hosts.

Following a third win in a row, TRAU FC go fourth on the table with 13 points in eight games. On the other hand, Rajasthan, winless in their previous two outings, moved to sixth place with 11 points from as many games.

In the other match, NEROCA were the dominant side in the early stages, with midfielders Mirjalol Kasimov and Tangva Ragui doing most of the running.

The Orange Brigade, however, were unable to translate possession into goals, while the hosts were happy to sit back and defend.

The first real chance of the contest arrived at the half-hour mark as Lunminlen Haokip unleashed a low effort from a narrow angle, which was met by a strong save from Shibinraj Kunniyil in the Gokulam Kerala goal.

There were two great heading opportunities for both sides to win the game towards the final whistle, but it wasn’t to be.

The stalemate meant Gokulam Kerala missed the chance to go top of the table. The Malabarians are now on 15 points, one behind leaders Sreenidi Deccan. NEROCA stay in 11th place with seven points from eight matches.

Source: PTI News


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