Chen­nai City be­gin fi­nal push for ti­tle

The Asian Age - - Delhi Special -

Im­phal, Feb. 10: Eyes firmly set on a maiden na­tional league tri­umph, league lead­ers Chen­nai City FC will take on Ma­nipur out­fit Ne­roca FC in a re­turn leg Hero I- League fix­ture here on Mon­day.

Chen­nai, which have had an im­pec­ca­ble sea­son so far win­ning 10 out of their 15 games so far and los­ing only twice to debu­tants Real Kash­mir FC, is atop the ta­ble with 33 points just a point ahead of Real Kash­mir. And come Mon­day, Chen­nai would be­gin the fi­nal push to­wards their maiden na­tional league ti­tle in their short four year his­tory.

The vis­i­tors can ill- af­ford to drop their guard, given the com­pet­i­tive na­ture of the league. Ne­roca, which fell away a bit in their cam­paign in re­cent times, los­ing three of their last four games, are placed fifth with 25 points from 16 games and are still among at least three other chas­ing teams with a re­al­is­tic shot at the cov­eted I- League crown.

“We will be play­ing to­mor­row against Chen­nai not for the first po­si­tion but for the best po­si­tion. We will be play­ing at home Chen­nai City FC are eye­ing their maiden I- league ti­tle.

and that is im­por­tant and we will go all out and try to take the three points,” Ne­roca’s Span­ish coach Manuel Fraile said on the eve of the match.

“It’s an im­por­tant match. I think Chen­cho will score again against Chen­nai City. If to­mor­row Chen­nai make mis­takes and we are in a good mo­men­tum and

play our style, we might win although it’s hard to play against Chen­nai.” Fraile was re­fer­ring to ‘ Bhutanese Ron­aldo’ Chen­cho Gyelt­shen, who re­cently joined the Ne­roca ranks on loan and scored in his first game for his new side, al­beit in a los­ing cause against Quess East Ben­gal in the pre­vi­ous game.

Chen­nai City coach Ak­bar Nawas, who has re­mained grounded through­out the league, has ac­knowl­edged the short­com­ings. “We hope for a much more bet­ter and im­proved per­for­mance against Ne­roca. It’s go­ing to be a com­pet­i­tive match. We all know how Ne­roca can cause dam­age with their strik­ers. Ne­roca is known for pace and coun­ters too, so we have to be pre­pared for this,” he said.

Given the con­text and the des­per­a­tion of Chen­nai to get a re­sult, it is all set to be a cracker of a con­test at the Khu­man Lam­pak Sta­dium.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.