The loss was the away side’s fifth loss of the season, within five games.

NEROCA FC prevailed over Indian Arrows in their I-League encounter, played at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Friday afternoon. The homeside began cautiously against a young-blooded Arrows side, who looked to go gung-ho with a high rush of blood in the early minutes. After managing to stabilize the situation, NEROCA punished the disoriented and indisciplined young boys.

Watch: NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows, Goals and Highlights

In the 29th-minute, Japanese playmaker Katsumi Yusa helped the ball roll into the back of the net to give his side the lead. Failing to learn any lesson from their dismal play, Arrows ended up conceding two more goals – Felix Chidi (54”) and Malemnganba (88”). 

Here are the talking points from the fixture:

5. NEROCA bossing it in their own way

The Orange Brigade were in complete control over Indian Arrows

After a rather lackluster start to their I-League campaign this season, Manuel Fraile’s side looked very well-rehearsed for the game. The Orange Brigade were in control over Indian Arrows scoring three past the junior side courtesy Yusa, Chidi and Meitei.

The midfield looked solid with the experience of Aryn Williams and the Japanese alongside Thangjam Singh. Singam Subhash Singh looked very lively on the left wing literally toying with the Arrows’ defensive set-up. Likewise, Malem on the right flank gave good support to the NEROCA attack inside the box.

4. Blunt Arrows fail to score once again

For the AIFF’s developmental side Indian Arrows, playing in the country’s top tier league has been an excellent learning curve. However, being unable to work on their shortcomings could be a major problem as the league enters its halfway point. The fact that the junior Blues have failed to score in the last four games, must be a headache for coach Floyd Pinto and his staff.

Despite creating some rare but vital chances, the likes of Rahim Ali, Rahul Praveen and Boris Singh Thangjam failed to put the ball in the back of the net.


3. Felix Chidi continues his scoring form

The 28-year-old’s experience played a part in the fixture

The Nigerian target man is getting better as the season progesses. Chidi bagged his fourth goal of the campaign as he scored NEROCA’s second in a 3-0 win.

In the first half, Chidi wasn’t seeing much of the ball as the Arrows defence looked alert. However, the 28-year-old used his experience in the second half getting past his markers in search of a through-ball fed in brilliantly and beat Prabhsukhan Gill. He efforts earned him the accolade of Hero of the Match.

2. Lack of proper philosophy and organization wreck Arrows’ ship

Inside the first half hour of the game, Arrows presented a tough fight to the home side. However, as NEROCA settled their nerves and dominated play, the young guns failed to match the Orange Brigade in every department.

They were inconsistent on the ball, displaying their abilities in bits and pieces, thereby exposing themselves completely against a quality side. There’s a lot of organizational restructuring to be done to make the young Blues shine on the big stage.

1. Subhash Singh, Lalit Thapa shine as NEROCA rout Indian Arrows

Singam Subhash Singh was one of the star performers in the game. The winger who looks in top shape physically, muscled it out against the young Blues on a bright wintry afternoon in Imphal. He was instrumental in causing havoc in the Arrows defence many times.

In goal, Lalit Thapa was slotted in ahead of Mauro Boerchio, as coach Manuel Fraile went in with an extra outfielder to cover that foreigner’s spot. Arrows were mostly poor with their efforts on goal, with two shots on target from a total of seven attempts. Thapa was agile and quick with his reflexes to deny Arrows forward Rahim Ali from point-blank range late in the first half, as the NEROCA keeper finished with a clean-sheet.