NEROCA in just their first ever match in the top division could have made a statement in the second minute of the game. NEROCA hit the post within 120 seconds of the game against Minerva Punjab FC. The shot taken from a distance hit the post and rebounded back in the box, the away team took another shot on goal and there were claims for handball not given.
The game was fast-paced and lots of passes were exchanged. NEROCA were more determined in getting to the opposition box in the first 13 minutes. The breakthrough came in the 18th minute from Chidi as dragged two defenders with him from the top of the box towards the left side and he swung his leg and the keeper had moved to his right and the shot went past his left into the bottom corner for the goal.
Chencho who was dynamic on the left flank made a good run from the half line to the NEROCA box but failed to get his shot away. Chencho would go on to get the equaliser for the home team as he got into speed down the left flank, drifted in and took a shot sharply from the left top corner of the box. Thapa had no chance to stop that.
NEROCA continued to enjoy slightly more possession than Minerva and were mostly in the Minerva half. Half time was approaching with the score was tied at one goal a side. Minerva got a chance to break into a counter attack and Ambekar burst down the left and passed it to Lago who had to take one touch in the box and smashed home the ball for taking the lead for the first time in the game. The goal came late in the added two minutes of the first half.
The second half was not the most pleasant as the ball kept changing possession quite often. NEROCA could not repeat the pressure game that they produced in the first half. Minerva looked more comfortable on the ball in the second half. No clear chances were created but the game was lively. Chencho and Lago had a couple of good chances to get closer and attempt but both players tried to find the far corner and missed the both. NEROCA were wasteful in front of goal and paid the price for defending loosely. So Minerva got their first win of the season and NEROCA had to settle for no points from their debut game.
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