Sreenidi Deccan overcome NEROCA scare to enter Hero Super Cup Group Stage

5th April, Manjeri (Kerala): Sreenidi Deccan Football Club dug deep to defeat NEROCA FC 4-2 here at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri on Wednesday to qualify for the Group Stage of the Hero Super Cup 2023. Goals from Faysal Shayesteh, David Castaneda and Rilwan Hassan helped the Deccan Warriors seal their place in Group A of the Hero Super Cup alongside Bengaluru FC, Kerala Blasters and RoundGlass Punjab FC.
It was a slow start to the match as both sides struggled to get a hold of the game and Sreenidi Deccan only registered their first effort on goal on the half hour mark. In the 37th minute, midfielder Shayesteh made his way into the NEROCA penalty area and his cut-back deflected off the defender into the back of the net. The Deccan Warriors took that one-goal lead into the half time break.
The second half began with a bang as Sreenidi Deccan doubled their lead in the 54th minute. Midfielder Mayakkannan was fouled in the penalty area and captain Castaneda converted the resulting spot kick to make it 2-0 for his side.
The Hero I-League runners-up seemed to be in cruise control but NEROCA pulled one back in the 67th minute through Tangva Ragui who received the ball from a short corner kick and curled it in from outside the box. The Manipur-based side then equalised with 10 minutes left on the clock as Benjamin took advantage of some indecisive Sreenidi defending and poked the ball home.
Substitute Hassan came to Sreenidi Deccan’s rescue as he hauled them into the Hero Super Cup Group Stage with two clinical finishes in the space of two minutes as the clock struck 90.
Sreenidi Deccan will face Hero ISL runners-up Bengaluru FC at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode on April 8. The match will kick off at 5 PM and will be televised live on Sony Sports 2 and the Fancode App.