Kalyani : , Jan 14 (IANS) Neroca FC face local rivals Trau FC in their opening match of the 2020/21 I-League season at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium. Trau come into the match on the back of a 1-1 draw with Real Kashmir in their opening match last season.
Trau's Komron Tursunov put them ahead in the ninth second of the match against Real Kashmir, making it the fastest goal in the history of the league. However, the rest of the match was all about Trau trying to keep out Real Kashmir and they did well to hold on to a draw.
Neroca finished just one place above the relegation zone last season. With the Indian Arrows being the bottom-placed team, Neroca would have been the second team, along with Aizawl, to be relegated last season had it not been for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) deciding to have no relegations in the 2019/20 season.
They will be looking to make the most of the second chance they have got in the league and head coach Gift Raikhan felt that beating their local rivals would be a good place to start.
"We have to work hard and play for the win. It is a very big and important match for us against Trau as it is a local derby. However, Trau are a very good team and they will present us with challenges," said Raikhan.
"Our strength is the youth that we have. They are strong and they are ready to go. However, they will take some time to settle in the I-League and we aim to build match by match. The talent that we have is very good and we look forward to tomorrow." Neroca head coach Nandakumar said that the match would be tough both "mentally and physically". "If we can maintain our rhythm, we can edge a positive positive result. We are improving with every match and if we follow our game plan to perfection we can get the win," he said.