Neroca FC notched up their second win of the I-League season by beating Shillong Lajong 2-1 in a Northeast derby match to jump to the top half of the points table here on Sunday. Felix Chidi drew the first blood for Neroca in the 33rd minute, while Phrangki Buam restored parity in the 48th Minute before the visiting side striker Subash Singh struck the match-winner in the 83rd minute at the JLN Stadium.
With this win, Neroca FC surged to the fifth spot with eight points from six matches while the home side found themselves at the 10th place with four points from seven games. The visitors were onto serious business right from the first minute when a powerful shot from Subhash hit the top of the woodwork to get deflected to the left post and finally fell outside the line to be collected by Lajong goalkeeper Neithovilie.
Lajong were playing well in the midfield but lack of creativity and good finish kept them away from creating any scoring chance. Neroca FC, in the 33rd minute, got the opening goal when Felix Chidi headed home from an inch-perfect cross from Malem Metei.
Lajong FC coach Alison brought in Maorem Mahesh Singh in place of Lalwmpuia Hnamte in the 36th minute. Lajong, thereafter, attempted a few intrusions into the Neroca citadel but were unable to find the equaliser.
The second half began with Lajong continuing with their attacks and their efforts were soon rewarded when an acute angle pass from Mahesh Singh was received by Phrangki Buam to restore the parity.
Lajong could have found their second goal but Mahesh Naorem Singh missed the opportunity in the 79th minute. Neroca’s attacking intentions were soon rewarded when Subash Singh sent the ball into the net from an outstanding flick from Felix Chidi in the 83rd minute and that turned out to be the match winner.
Neroca FC next play Indian Arrows at home on December 7 while Shillong Lajong FC will travel to Srinagar to take on I-League debutants Real Kashmir FC on December 11.