NorthEast made sure that they stick to their game plan and came out with the result. They patiently kept out the dangerous Delhi attackers and hit them in the second half whenever they got the chance. A clean sheet would have helped their goal difference though.
It is now down to NorthEast’s final league game against Kerala Blasters. A win for them would mean that the last semi final spot is theirs while anything less would mean that things stand the way they were and Kerala will be through.
NorthEast United FC have only 35.8 per cent chance of qualification to semi-finals of Hero Indian Super League but despite having the least chance among four hopefuls, they are staying calm and positive.
NorthEast United need to garner maximum points from their remaining matches to have a chance of winning a place among the top-four and the Highlanders will start their mission at home with a crucial clash against Delhi Dynamos at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, on Tuesday.
Nelo Vingada’s team were down and almost out in their last clash against Chennaiyin FC until Shouvik Ghosh rose high in injury time to tie the match at 3-3, win a crucial point and keep NorthEast United in the race for a semi-final spot. It was a thrilling finish to the match but Vingada said his side were entirely deserving of a point despite the late winner.
“If you tell me we were lucky to score in the last minute, then yes we were lucky but we fought to bring that luck for us and we created chances to score, and honestly I think we deserved the draw. It is the correct result and the result is very important for us as it lifts our morale. We will put in a strong effort in the next two games,” Vingada said after the match.
Vingada will have to do a balancing act with his squad selection as two of his players — Koffi Ndri (Romaric) and Nicolas Velez – are both on three bookings. Another booking and they could miss the crucial, deciding clash against Kerala Blasters. Fortunately for the hosts, defensive midfielder Rowlin Borges will return to the squad after serving a match suspension and Vingada could also restore Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa to the starting line-up.
Delhi Dynamos have nothing to worry after sitting second on table with 20 points from 12 matches and head into their penultimate clash after a 5-1 drubbing of FC Goa.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t reached the semi-finals as yet. So we have to focus on our next game, which is against a very difficult team, and for this reason it’s very important to plan step by step,” said coach Gianluca Zambrotta.
Indications are that, with a 99.59 per cent chance of qualification to the semi-finals, Zambrotta could give some of his overworked players deserving rest
“We need to look at our players’ conditions and recovery and as of now I haven’t planned anything tactical for the match against NorthEast,” said the Italian World Cup winner.
Delhi Dynamos will play their concluding league clash against Mumbai City FC on December 3.
10′ gone NorthEast United 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
Nico Velez is down and that is something that will hurt the home side. Velez has been in great form and has been one of the most important cogs in the wheel for NorthEast. Robert Cullen has been brought on in place of a very dissapointed Velez.
15′ gone, Delhi Dynamos are the one managing to put more pressure on NorthEast. Wide players Marcelinho and Kean Lewis are keeping the NorthEast defence busy.
17′, Emiliano Alfaro with the first opportunity for NorthEast. Alfaro managed to get away from Rocha and got a good chance to get one on one with the keeper. The shot though was straight at the keeper and he managed to out it out for a corner.
2′, Two shots have been taken by both sides in this period of play, both of them wildly off target. While Delhi Dynamos won’t mind it at all, but each chance is extememely valuable for NorthEast
27′, Two shots have been taken by both sides in this period of play, both of them wildly off target. While Delhi Dynamos won’t mind it at all, but each chance is extememely valuable for NorthEast
30′ gone, NorthEast are mounting attacks more frequently. Alfaro laid a ball of for Robert Cullen but the ball was collected by Doblas before it caused any problems.
34′ gone, Malouda lifted a ball to Richard Gadze into the center of the box. The goalkeeper read that and caught the ball in time or else, Gadze would have easily scored that one.
36′ gone, NorthEast’s Seityasen made a piercing run through the middle, he had Alfaro running into space to his left but he went for the better option and took the shot. Doblas dove to his right and made sure the ball stayed away from the advancing Alfaro too.
38′ gone, Another chance for Delhi Dynamos as they played a ball through the wide areas into the box. Kean Lewis was the end of it and took the shot from a tight angle but it ended up going above the goal post.
HALF TIME!! NorthEast United 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
NorthEast have been tight defensively and made sure that Marcelinho, Kean Lewis and Florent Malouda couldn’t find a way through. They would have been in a stronger position as far as attack is concerned had it not been for the injury sustained by Nico Velez.
Delhi will be wary of a pumped up NorthEast as they look to assure themselves of a final semi final spot with a win today.
47′, Fantastic run from Alfaro as he skipped past three defendors to find himslef in space inside the box. He then lost the ball and NorthEast claim that he was tripped, referee remain unfazed.
NorthEast need to avoid defeat here to stand a chance at qualifying for the semis. they seem to be doing well so far.
51′, NorthEast are making sure that Delhi’s tormentors-in-chief don’t get any meaningful touches on the ball. Kean Lewis was trying to make an inroad from the wide are but was harrowed down by a determined Nirmal Chettri whi came away with the ball in the end.
GOAL!! NorthEast United 1-0 Delhi Dynamos (Seityasen 60′)
It was a good ball that caught out Delhi Dynamos and Seityasen sprinted to get to it first, his first touch was brilliant and puts it away from the defender, he took the shot that was away from the goalkeeper and rolled into the goal from a tight angle. NorthEast have been rewarded for their patience.
67′ gone, It was a clearance that ended up being threatening for Delhi, the ball came to Alfaro who advanced as much as he could before passing it to Romaric. Romaric took the shot from far out, it took a deflection and missed the goal. NorthEast are looking dangerous whenever they attack.
GOAL!! NorthEast United 2-0 Delhi Dynamos (Romaric 70′)
GOAL!! NorthEast United 2-0 Delhi Dynamos (Romaric 71′)
It was a lovely ball through from Robert along the ground, Romaric didn’t waste any time and took the shot first time and put it past the onrushing Doblas, who hasn’t been too impressive today. The match is going exactly the way the home side would have hoped it would.
81′ gone, NorthEast 2-0 Delhi
NorthEast still preferring to stay back and defend and hit on the counter. Delhi have uncharacteristically, not been able to get their free flowing football together with Marcelinho and Kean Lewis being hardly given any space.
83′ gone, A good chance for Katsumi as Romaric played a ball to him. He couldn’t make the necessary contact and puts the shot wide.
85′, Delhi centre-back Ruben Rocha took a shot from far out and the NorthEast had to dive to make the save. Delhi have a mountain to climb as only five minutes remain in the second half
87′ a pitch invader wrapped in a NorthEast flag causes a break in the game. A little bit of amusement for the stadium. the man is escorted off the field and play resumes.
GOAL!! NorthEast United 2-1 Delhi Dynamos (92′ Marcelinho)
It was a case of NorthEast switching off more than anything else. Marcelinho given space inside the box, he had to take it with his weaker foot and makes no mistake.
FULL TIME! NorthEast United 2-1 Delhi Dynamos
This was quite unexpected considering Delhi’s flying form coming into this match. NorthEast made sure that they restrict the Delhi attackers as much as possible and took the chances whenever it came their way.
They are halfway through and now NorthEast need to win against Kerala Blasters to make it through to the semi finals.