Durand Cup: Chennaiyin Outplay NEROCA At Home Ground - Eastern Mirror
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Durand Cup: Chennaiyin outplay NEROCA at home ground

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By Ayimba T Longchar Updated: Sep 05, 2022 11:01 pm

Our Correspondent
Imphal, Sep. 5 (EMN): Chennaiyin FC (CFC) took their place in the quarter-finals of the 131st Indian Oil Durand Cup with a fluent 2-0 victory over local favourites North-Eastern Re-Organising Cultural Association Football Club (NEROCA) in the last match of the Imphal leg of Asia’s oldest football tourney at the Khuman Lampak main stadium in Imphal on Monday.

CFC looked the better side throughout and definitely had the more quality fire-power at this stage of the tournament, to come through quite comfortably in the end, in what was a pressure game in front of a boisterous home crowd.

It helped Tomas Brdaric’s side that the goal came early. A long ball meant for Croat striker Petar Sliskovic, missed his head but struck his markers and fell on the path of Anirudh Thapa’s run. The diminutive midfielder took one touch to burst into the box and let go of a right footer, which beat the NEROCA keeper Soram Poirei for power.

NEROCA could have equalised at the half-hour mark when John Chidi snatched the ball from Iranian defender Vafa, just outside the CFC box and drove in, but his curler round the keeper missed its target.

CFC kept attacking and creating chances and the Chidi effort turned out to be the only effort of note for the homeside in the end.

The CFC midfield, in particular Thapa, began taking total control of the game in the second half. Regular forays by Rahim Ali and Sliskovic, brilliantly martialed by Thapa as well as Sajal Bag on the wings made it a matter of time that CFC would score.

Vafa Hakhamaneshi finally provided that insurance when he leaped up to a beautifully delivered Thapa free-kick, to bang home a header. Soirei did not move.

The experienced CFC side played out the rest of the game without much fuss and with NEROCA already deflated. The best they could do was a Johnychand Singh header from a Thomyo cross in the final seconds of added time, which was off target.

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By Ayimba T Longchar Updated: Sep 05, 2022 11:01:26 pm
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