Neroca survived anxious moments in the second half before they halted Churchill Brothers’ unbeaten run in the new year with a solitary goal win in the I-League at Vasco on Tuesday.
Neroca, who survived anxious moments in the second half after they dominated the first half, scored from a penalty through Felix Chidi in the 22nd minute. Churchill Brothers, who were looking for their fourth successive, win came back strongly in the second half.
They dominated their rival and had ample of chances to win but failed to get past the rival keeper Bishorjit and defence led by Gouramangi Singh, who denied them the equaliser. The win take Neroca to 24 points from 13 matches, two points behind leaders Minerva Punjab. While Churchill Brothers, who lost their first match in the new year, remained on 10 points from ten matches.
They now face leader Minerva Punjab in their next match at home. Neroca, who lost back to back matches, needed a win to keep themselves close to leaders Minerva Punjab in the title race.
They looked more organised in their attack as they held midfield superiority and had a first chance to take lead in the ninth minute when Pritam Singh, who found space on the left, essayed a firm shot on the run which rival keeper James Kithan managed to block.
Neroca earned a penalty after Wayne Vaz brought down Singam inside the box and referee awarded the penalty which Felix Chidi converted by beating keeper James Kithan to his right.
Churchill Brothers, who were looking for their fourth successive victory, failed to trouble the opposition. Neroca survived dangerously towards the end as Churchill Brothers created several chances but Kalu, Koffi failed to cash on the opportunities.
(With inputs from PTI)