NorthEast United and Delhi Dynamos were engaged in an intense game at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, the latter being already qualified for the ISL 2016 Semifinals. NorthEast United needed to win this game against Delhi Dynamos, in order to keep their hopes alive for semi-finals and this was not going to be an easy task as Dynamos has been dominating the game and their last match against FC Goa ended with a huge score of 5-1.
The 21000 attendees at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati were the proof that NorthEast United had everything to beat Delhi Dynamos in this match and all they wanted was, to see the home team pursue their dream of glory.
Delhi Dynamos, on the other hand, had all the momentum and after qualifying in the Playoffs, the team had nothing to lose in this game.
However, the visitors didn’t take it easy on NorthEast United and created a chance within the first five minutes of the match. Richard Gadze received a long pass from Florent Malouda, right in the middle and the former had no marker beside him. He attempts to score the leading goal but due to lack of precision, the shot went wide.
Delhi Dynamos saw a lot of ball in the first 30 minutes of the game and the hosts were seen struggling to tackle the pace of the attack. However, just after the half hour mark, Borges found Emiliano Alfaro in the middle and Robert Cullen made his run through the center. Doblas anticipated the danger and prevented NorthEast United from scoring the opener.
The whole first half was all about half chances and the game lacked pace. Both the teams continued their goal scoring efforts but the defense was leaving no stone unturned to block the ball from entering the nets.
The home crowd was content with NorthEast United’s performance in the first half and giving homage to the support, the hosts turned the table in the second half of the match.
The second half started with a series of quick attacks from Delhi Dynamos and the stadium went silent. However, NorthEast United came from nowhere and scored the opener in the 60th minute of the match.
The deadlock was broken by Seityasen Singh when the player received a long pass from Zokora and tackled Kean and Souvik on his way to the post. Souvik tried to take the possession of the ball but Seityasen bundled it over the opposition’s defense, giving his team a lead of 1-0.
Tables were turned from this moment and the home crowd got a lot to cheer about, as it was NorthEast United’s turn to show why the team deserved to play in the semi-finals.
The hosts didn’t take long and doubled their lead in the 71st minute when Cullen picked up the ball in the midfield and played a perfectly measured shot to Romaric and the latter made no mistake in netting the ball.
Delhi Dynamos must have felt embarrassed as they were getting a beating from a team that didn’t even have a future in the tournament before this match.
NorthEast United didn’t want to stop here and the team was on its way to make this game the most dreading match for Delhi Dynamos in the 84th minute. Cullen’s shot found an unmarked Romaric and the latter quickly passed it to Katsumi, who tried to set himself up but failed, leaving the shot going wide.
The game was coming to its end and the hosts were sure of their win over Delhi Dynamos with the latter still searching for the opener. Marcelinho, again took the responsibility on his shoulders ad came to rescue his team from an embarrassing defeat. Malouda found Marcelinho in the box with a header and the latter blasted the ball into the post, scoring his ninth goal of the ISL 2016 season.
The match ended with NorthEast United winning the match with 2-1 and keeping their Semi-finals hopes alive, simultaneously.
This also means that NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters will fight for the last Play-Off berth on 4th December.
1 December 2016