Neroca FC will host Shillong Lajong in the reverse fixture of the I-League North East Derby on 24th January at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal, Manipur at 2 PM. The match will telecast live on Star Sports 2/Star Sports 2 HD/Hotstar App/Jio TV.
After collecting four points from three home games since the start of 2018, Shillong Lajong departed for three consecutive away matches. Despite having plenty of opportunities in the game, luck didn’t favour the Reds and went down by two goals to nil to Churchill Brothers on 19th January. The Goan outfit had lost the away fixture in Shillong by the same score line but held strong on home soil and eventually secured the victory.
In their second of the three consecutive away trips, Lajong now face the challenge of Neroca FC on Wednesday and is eagerly hoping to return back to the winning form. Lajong haven’t scored in their last two fixtures and now going into the crucial stage of the season, the team has to deliver, start building the momentum as well as confidence as a team.
Daniel Odafin is expected to be back in the team after serving a one-match suspension. Saihou made his debut for Lajong in the last match and narrowly missed scoring on his debut, after hitting the woodwork. The Reds will hope the combination of Saihou, Koffi, Aiman and Samuel Lalmuanpuia up front in attack will help the team secure a victory in Imphal. Lajong’s defence will also have to step up in the upcoming match after conceding 2 goals in the previous match.
Speaking ahead of the game, Coach Alison Kharsyntiew said, “Three things which are very important for us now is to believe, have confidence and to keep improving on the training ground. This is how we’ve been preparing. Not just physically and tactically but also psychologically.”
He further said, “We have to stay focused and make more efforts from the first minute till the last. Every match that we have played we created many chances but could not convert. So we have to be more clinical in finishing.”
“The best way to motivate the team is during the training sessions. We need to guide them, explain the errors and encourage them to strive for perfection. The most important thing is we need to stay together as a team and keep improving”, he added.
Neroca won the away fixture with a 1-0 margin against Lajong in Shillong on 23rd December and the memories are very fresh in the minds of the Lajong players. Lajong will need to give a solid performance in order to overcome Neroca who are currently in an impressive form.
The Manipur outfit is currently in the 2nd position with 21 points from 10 matches and will be eyeing on maximum points from their home fixture.
Their highest margin victory was a 3-0 away win against Gokulam Kerala on 9th December. The only game they lost this season was in their first game against Minerva Punjab with a 2-1 margin on 1st December and since then they have drawn three and won six.
Most recently they won against Aizawl FC by 2-1 with goals from Felix Odili Chidi and Nedo Turkovic and this will serve as a big morale booster for them going into Wednesday’s Derby clash.
Felix Chidi is their highest goal scorer at the moment with four goals and he will be a player to watch out.
A positive result for Lajong on Wednesday will give them a big push in the I-League standings and it will also help the team regain their winning form.