I-League: Sudeva, NEROCA looking to get closer to top 6

Crucial points are up for grabs when seventh-placed Sudeva Delhi face tenth-placed North Eastern Re-Organising Cultural Association (NEROCA) Football Club in the I-League at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan Stadium on Friday.

Newcomers Sudeva managed to hold former champions Aizawl to a 1-1 draw in their last match. While they sit in seventh place with nine points from seven matches, coach Chencho Dorji will be optimistic that his all-Indian contingent is able to win all three points in the race for the top six.

“We are in the bottom half and need to get three points from this game. We will field our strongest 11. NEROCA might not have found their rhythm yet, but they are still strong opposition to face. I am sure, they will also be preparing for a win, and so we are preparing accordingly,” said Dorji.

NEROCA fell to a 3-4 defeat to Real Kashmir in a thrilling encounter in their last match. The loss meant that the gap between them and sixth place remained five points with three matches left to play.

“Every match is important. We win some, we lose some. The match against Real Kashmir was very important as the boys put in an excellent performance. I think the biggest boost for us is that we scored three goals against them (Kashmir), a feat nobody has achieved this season,” said NEROCA head coach Gift Raikhan.

“We lost the game in defending. And that is my responsibility. I am working towards bettering the shape and compacting the defence. Result apart, the performance against Real Kashmir was very positive, and we want to carry on such performances,” he said.