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NEROCA, Army Red play out goalless draw in Imphal

NEROCA, who had won their first game against local rivals TRAU FC have four points from two games while ARFT has two from the same number of games.

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Imphal: Home side NEROCA FC was held to a goalless draw by the Army Red Football Team (ARFT) in a Group C encounter of the Durand Cup, here at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Wednesday. 

NEROCA, who had won their first game against local rivals TRAU FC have four points from two games while ARFT has two from the same number of games.

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The first half saw no intent from both teams, particularly in the middle of the park. The home side showed more eagerness, but could not create any meaningful chances in the ARFT half. 

The Reds were compact and made it harder for NEROCA to create anything by defending deep. The Army men played well on the counters and did create few chances but were poor in the final third.

NEROCA started the second half brightly and started to create more chances. Lulminlal and Thomyo in particular, missed glorious opportunities to score for their side.

At the hour mark, Lulminlal created a half-chance of shorts with great individual work, his diagonal run past two Army Red defenders creating the space to shoot, but he was off-target in the end.

He was again at it four minutes later with a wonderful cross from the left wing, which took out the entire defence. Thomyo followed it and met it with a side-volley but he too lacked direction.

With three minutes left on the clock it was the Army team which got one final chance to break the deadlock when substitute Pradeep Kumar, unleashed a left-footed pile-driver from about 20 yards out but keeper Sonam Porei, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, brought off a crucial save to deny the Army men.

NEROCA FC next play Hyderabad FC on August 30 while ARFT will be up against yet another local side, TRAU FC on August 28.

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