Katsumi Yusa brace helps Neroca halt Churchill´s unbeaten run
Neroca FC defeated Goan side Churchill Brothers FC Goa 2-1 thanks to two brilliant headers from Hero of the Match Katsumi Yusa in the first and the 87th minute of the match to end Churchill´s unbeaten run in the Hero I-League. With this win, Neroca FC are now placed second on the points table with 14 points, three points shy of table toppers Chennai City FC.
Hosts Neroca FC began in orange while vistors Churchill Brothers FC Goa were in their away sky blue kit. Neroca FC made no mistake in showing their intentions right from the kickoff, starting on an attack.
A loosely cleared from Churchill Brothers´ Mohanraj from inside the box landed straight into the legs of Aryn Williams who then delivered a beautiful cross back into the box which was well met with a beautiful diving header by Katsumi to guide the ball back into the Churchill Brothers FC Goa nets putting the hosts onto a lead with just 13 seconds on the clock. With this, Katsumi now has the record of the fastest goal of the I-League, beating James Moga, who had netted on 14 seconds for Pune FC against United Sikkim in 2012-13.
This goal changed the game right from the first minute as Neroca FC went on an attacking spree with the hope to double their lead but unfortunately couldn´t breach the defence line of the visitors thereafter. Churchill Brothers, on the other hand, played a cautious game thereafter, having conceded way too early, but slowly started coming back to their attacking ways in the latter half of the first 45 minutes.
Neroca FC, who were attacking in quick successions, did trouble the Churchill defence but somehow couldn´t manage to get the better of them. Churchill who were, however, playing with a marginal advantage of higher ball possession went on with their attacks in intervals.
Churchill finally managed to restore parity when a beautiful free kick from Dawda Ceesay was well headed into the net by Kahlid Aucho in the 37th minute. The game thereafter was a mixed bag of attacks from both ends but neither of the teams managed to extend their lead.
The second half began with Neroca FC trying to get the lead but a defensively strong Churchill Brothers FC Goa denied them any clear chance to capitalise. Neroca FC, however, came close enough to extend their lead but could not when Churchill Brothers Goal Keeper James Keethan made an outstanding save off a shot from Felix Chidi in the 61st minute.
Neroca FC did not stop, but were unsuccessful in finding the back of the net. It was only in the 87th minute when Katsumi Yusa completed his brace FC through a header that came off from an inch-perfect cross from Aryn Williams, giving the hosts a critical 2-1 lead which eventually guided them t secure all three points at home.
Full-time: NEROCA FC 2-1 Churchill Brothers
90+5 Yellow card Shallum Pires
90: Five minutes added time
90: Yellow card Khalid Aucho
89: Substitution Yusa Katsumi OFF Ronald Singh Shaikhom IN
88: Yellow card Yusa Katsumi
87: Goal! Yusa Katsumi scores for NEROCA FC
82: Substitution Lamgoulen Gou Hangshing OFF Nicholas Fernandes IN
71: Yellow card Sebastian Thangmuansang
46: Substitution Wayne Vaz OFF Jovel Martins IN
46: Second half kick-offo
Half-time: NEROCA FC 1-1 Churchill Brothers
45: Three minutes added on
37: Goal! Khalid Aucho scores for Churchill Brothers
37: Substitution Israil Gurung OFF Anthony Wolfe IN
30: Yellow card Wayne Vaz
1: Goal! Yusa Katsumi scores for NEROCA FC
1: First half kick-off
Churchill Brothers line-up: James Kithan (GK), Wayne Vaz, Shallum Pires, Nenad Novakovic, Nallappan Mohanraj, Israil Gurung, Richard Costa, Khalid Aucho, Lamgoulen Hangshing, Dawda Ceesay, Willis Plaza
NEROCA FC line-up: Lalit Thapa (GK), Eduardo Ferreira, Varney Kallon, Ashok Singh, Katsumi Yusa, Felix Chidi, Subash Singh, Malemnganba Meitei, Sebastian Thangmuansang, Saran Singh, Aryn Williams