The match will inaugurate the competition in Manipur.

The Imphal derby between NEROCA FC (NFC) and TRAU FC (TFC) will highlight Matchday 3 of the 131st IndianOil Durand Cup football tournament, group stage matches of which are currently ongoing in the three cities of Kolkata, Guwahati and Imphal. The Imphal derby will also mark the first time a Durand Cup game will be played in the state of Manipur, otherwise a powerhouse in Indian football. 

The evening game of Matchday 3 between the two biggest clubs of Manipur, NEROCA FC and Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC is sure to set the Khuman Lampak alight as it always does. A sea of Orange, the NEROCA colours and Red & Green, the TRAU colours can be expected to further brighten the picturesque venue. Given the momentous occasion, with the Hon. Chief Minister, Shri. Biren Singh himself being a former Durand winner and the passion for the game in the State, you can expect a fantastic competitive game.

The Stakes

Both teams finished mid and bottom table in their previous I-League season, with the orange brigade finishing seventh while TRAU finished ninth. However in a derby game, the two have always fought it out tooth and nail and kept their adoring fans on the edge.

Team News

NEROCA though appear stronger on paper with four foreigners bolstering their line-up from defence to attack while TRAU only have the sublime skills of Tajik Komron Tursunov to fall back upon, in an otherwise talented locally assembled squad. Thokchom James Singh and Tondomba Singh bring the derby experience to the Orange squad while Manas Pratim Gohain and Bishorjit Singh bring the same for TRAU.

Head-to-head

NEROCA FC and TRAU FC have locked horns with each other five times (across all competitions) prior to this encounter. NEROCA have emerged victorious on three occasions. Meanwhile, TRAU have won just once. The other game ended in a draw.

Man to Watch

Thiago Santos (NEROCA FC)

The Brazilian is a new addition to the NEROCA side. He has the experience of playing in the Indian Super League for Mumbai City. In his 13 appearances for the Islanders, the forward netted five goals. Apart from that, in his career, he has plied his trade for clubs like Flamengo, Botafogo and Chapecoense. Thus, a forward of his stature is expected to be a major threat for the TRAU side.

Komron Tursunov (TRAU FC)

There are very few players who have won the I-League in their very first season in India. Komron Tursunov is one of them. The Tajikistan forward joined Mohun Bagan back in the 2019/20 season. In the club’s second I-League triumph, he contributed two goals alongside two assists. The forward also played for Churchill Brothers where he scored six goals in 16 appearances. Thus, Tursunov will be a man to watch out for the NEROCA defence.

Did you know?

  • On 8th February, 2020, NEROCA defeated TRAU by a margin of 5-0.
  • Komron Tursunov is the only player in NEROCA who has previously won the I-League.
  • The Manipur Government has declared a half-holiday for educational and government organisations so that the supporters can enjoy the Imphal Derby.

Telecast

The match will be starting at 6 pm IST. It will be played at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal. The game will be telecasted on the Sports18 network – Sports18 1, Sports18 1 HD and Sports18 Khel (Hindi Commentary). Also, the match will be streamed on Voot and JioTV.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on Twitter, and Instagram and join our community on Telegram.