Ousmane Diawara (29′) bagged the all important goal to claim the bragging rights in the encounter between the two northeastern sides
Gift Raikhan made three changes to the home side’s first 11 as Ronald Singh, Khanngam Horam and Ongnam Romton made way for Ngangom Ronald Singh, Moirangthem Dhananjoy and Khaimithang Lhungdim.
On the other hand, Aizawl coach Standley Rozario brought in goalkeeper H. Lalremruata Arema in place of Lalawmpuia other than Abdoulaye Kanoute slotting in for K.lal Hmangaihkima.
Neroca had the better of the opportunities from the word go with Chanso Horam coming closest off Lhungdim’s cross from the right inside the opening 15 minutes and Lhungdim hitting the side netting in the 22nd minute before Diawara finally plugged the ball at the back of the net after Zodingliana Ralte came off the top left corner of the post a minute before the half-hour mark.
Paul Ramfangzauva forced a diving save from Marvin Phillip in the 35th minute to register the only notable opportunity for Aizawl in the first half while Taryk Sampson was at hand to head away Isak Vanlalruatfela’s cross intended for Kanoute in the box as the visitors began finding their foot in the game.
The visitors could do little to trouble NEROCA goalkeeper Phillip in the second half while Kanoute was a victim of the off-side trap on a few occasions besides being marked out heavily in the box. The Mali forward did however set up Ramfangzauva in the first minute of the six minutes of injury time but the latter was unlucky to see his shot come off the horizontal.
As a result, NEROCA registered their first win of the season after falling to a 2-1 defeat against Gokulam Kerala in their opener while Aizawl FC have the one point from their goalless draw against Mohun Bagan in their last outing.