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I-League: Relegated NEROCA battle for pride against Chennai

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Kolkata, March 24 (IANS) NEROCA FC will hope they can put their troubles far behind them and finish their season on a positive note when they face Chennai City FC at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan.

NEROCA find themselves on a five-game losing streak which has left them at the bottom of Group B with eight points after 13 games. They have not been able to score in these last five games either and the run has led to Gift Raikhan’s side being relegated.

Raikhan will hope that their fortunes change against a struggling Chennai City side, who themselves have lost four out of their last five games. It, however, will not be easy as Chennai City hold the edge over them after the Satyasagara-coached side had beaten them 2-1 back in match week 6 of the league.

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“Our plan was to be in top-six, and we played good. But there were a lot of things that did not click. I know we are at the bottom, but I am very proud of the team — the young boys, they have fought hard. It is the last match tomorrow, and we need to win it. We are trying our best,” said Raikhan.

“In the game against Chennai, we tried hard but lost. Our momentum broke when we received the red card. I am expecting that my boys will do their job tomorrow. We have lost many games and they are wanting to come back stronger with a victory against Chennai. Chennai are a good team, but we need to fight and outplay them,” he said.

Chennai put five past the Indian Arrows, but could not build on the result as Aizawl swept past them 3-1. While they are now safe from relegation with 12 points from 13 games, the former champions will want to give their best performance and finish the season on a high note with a victory over NEROCA.

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“Every game is important, and as a coach, I want to win each and every game. There are many positives I will be taking from this season. Many young players have risen. The performances of Vineeth, Prateek, and other youngsters have been an eye-opener,” said coach Satyasagara.

–IANS

rkm/vd

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