Home » I-League 2023-24: NEROCA FC Edge Out Delhi FC In 4-3 Thriller

I-League 2023-24: NEROCA FC Edge Out Delhi FC In 4-3 Thriller

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Despite running into a four-goal lead NEROCA FC capitulated, struggled, and then ended up relieved taking three points away from home with a 4-3 win over Delhi FC in the I-League on November 27, 2023.

It was no surprise that Delhi, the home team tore into NEROCA right from the off, and could have, with calmer heads and better finishing, wrapped the game up within the first five minutes itself.

In the fourth minute, Kitboklang Khyriem’s cross from the left flew dangerously to the far post, only for Gaurav Rawat to head over from five yards. A mere minute later, Rawat had turned provider, running in from the right flank to cut the ball back for Balwant Singh, only for the striker to miss the ball. Wave after wave of Delhi attacks followed the same pattern, let down by the men inside the box.

When the opener arrived, it came against the run of play, NEROCA, capitalising on Delhi committing attacking numbers to launch a counter. From the attack, Tarak Hembram launched a cross into the box from the right. It was a little behind Tangva Ragui, but the midfielder did brilliantly to not just get power but also perfect direction to his header, as it nestled into the bottom left out of the reach of Naveen Kumar. The visitors had a shock lead.

It took a long while for a second goal to arrive, but in the old adage of the way London buses work once it did the others arrived in a flurry. Balwinder Singh doubled NEROCA’s lead in the 74th minute before David Singh scored a screamer in the 77th to extend their lead to three. A minute later NEROCA added one more, via Aniket Panchal and Delhi’s day looked to be descending into humiliation.

In the 83rd minute, Aroldinho got one back for Delhi, with a volley from a header which came off the post, and a minute later Sergio Barboza headed in a second from Aroldinho’s looped cross. NEROCA were panicking and in the 90th minute, Barboza got his second and Delhi’s third as Balwinder’s clearance bounced off his head and went past Santosh in the visitors’ goal.

It was as close as Delhi would come though as time proved to be the toughest opponent. For NEROCA it was a sigh of relief as they won the three points.

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