Gokulam Kerala FC seek pole position, host goal-shy NEROCA!

Defending league champions Gokulam Kerala FC will go up against Manipur outfit NEROCA FC in their I-League 2022-23 match at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri on Thursday, December 15 with kick-off slated for 4.30pm.

The hosts start as favourites by virtue of their 100 percent win rate at home so far, which includes victories against Sudeva Delhi FC (3-0) and Rajasthan United FC (1-0) in their last two fixtures. A third straight win would see them move to the top of the standings and give their title challenge an important push as the action intensifies.

The visitors, on the other hand, have played their last five matches away and faced defeat in four of those matches, with just a solitary win on the road. They have scored only four goals in all so far in seven matches. Their last three fixtures have seen them go down by one-goal margins to Rajasthan United (0-1), Aizawl FC (0-1), and city rivals TRAU FC (1-2). Three points against Gokulam will be crucial for the Orange Brigade as they look to get their season back on track and build momentum.

Both sides have gone head-to-head nine times in previous editions of the I-League, with Gokulam winning five and NEROCA picking up two wins. The Malabarians came out on top 4-0 in their most recent meeting last season.

Gokulam head coach Richard Towa expressed his satisfaction for the team’s efforts so far. He said, “The chance to go to the top of the table is always a special motivation for the team and it’s necessary too. The whole team is performing well and I am happy with everyone. We will give our best to get the three points in this match.”

Goalkeeper Shibinraj Kunniyil said, “The mentality in the dressing room is good. We are trying to motivate each other all the time. I am happy for the team if we are taking the three points from each game and keep improving.”

NEROCA head coach Khogen Singh stated that his side is looking to give their best in the coming games. He said, “I think we have a very experienced squad but we have not been able to make an impact. We will give our best in the upcoming matches. We have to take our chances and try to score more goals and get the three points. Gokulam is a good team and they will have the home advantage but we will give our best.”

Goalkeeper Shubham Dhas said, “The team morale is very good. The players understand that we have to give everything we have and try to take away the maximum points from this match. The players are working hard to improve and score more goals.”

The match between Gokulam Kerala and NEROCA will be broadcast live on Eurosport and Doordarshan Sports and streamed live on the Discovery Plus OTT platform.

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