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I-League: Neroca up against Indian Arrows in must-win game


Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar
Neroca will be aiming to come out all guns blazing against Indian Arrows in a must-win encounter on Friday which will keep their hopes alive of a second-place finish in the ongoing I-League.
Neroca have 22 points from 14 games so far and eight behind leaders Chennai City and cannot afford any more slip-ups in this business end of India's top-flight football league.
The Arrows, on the other hand, are lying eighth on the table with 13 points from 14 games and have already bested their debut 11th Hero I-League season's record of three wins.
They will fancy their chances at home, given Neroca have faltered in their last three outings, losing two and drawing one.
Neroca's Spanish coach Manuel Fraile will have to inspire his players after failing to put it across Aizawl at home last week as the Arrows are an ever-dangerous side and good enough to take advantage of any opponents not at their best.
He sounded positive in the pre-game press chat though, sharing:"The preparation is coming good. We are hoping to take the three points. It is a difficult team and the players are young. We are fighting to be on the top.
"We have a good team with experienced players. We lost with Mohun Bagan and Churchill in the past matches but we have a good fight which matters."

He added, "We have missed our chances sometimes. We are looking forward to give our best and also to enjoy the game of the local players. Eduardo and Aryn Williams are suspended for this match but football is a team game and the rest of the team has players who are mature and professionals."

Floyd Pinto, the Arrows gaffer, has also remained ever-positive with his young side and that should help them put behind memories of a 0-3 drubbing at the hands of their Friday opponents in the first leg.
Even in their last game against a clearly superior Churchill Brothers, the Arrows held their own and even got an equalizer through Deepak Tangri before being felled by the league's highest scorer Willis Plaza's goal-scoring prowess.
The clean-sheet tactic which Floyd alluded to might just work for Arrows. It is a key game statistic where they are at par with Neroca this season with five each. The Imphal-based unit, on the other hand, will look at their 3-0 all-win record against the Arrows to remain positive.
Both teams are known to play flowing football and it should be an absorbing battle at the Kalinga on Friday.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 6:35 PM IST

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