NorthEast United continued their brilliant run in the Indian Super League (ISL) as they defeated Delhi Dynamos 2-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Monday.
Bartholomew Ogbeche and Federico Gallego were the scorers for the visitors as they continued their unbeaten run in the tournament. Dynamos are still winless this year with three draws and three loses.
It was a horrible day for both goalkeepers as they committed some major errors during the first half but luckily, the opposition was unable to take advantage. The first chance fell to midfielder Mato Grgic who capitalised on a loose clearance from Dynamos keeper Francisco Dorronsoro but was unable to find the target.
The NorthEast United FC keeper Pawan Kumar was not much better at the other end as he failed to get rid of a back pass quickly and it was a bad miss from Serbian striker Andrija Kaluderovic that saved him the blushes.
The pairing of Bartholomew Ogbeche and Federico Gallego has been quite impressive for NEUFC this season and coach Eelco Schattotie was once again relying on his strikers to hand them an early advantage. They did start the match well but thanks to some desperate defending from Dynamos, they were unable to find the breakthrough.
Ogbeche came agonisingly close to finding the first goal, but his shot crashed into the crossbar and they were unable to capitalise on the rebound. The rest of the first half took place on similar lines with the visitors making more inroads but the score still read 0-0 as both teams made their way to the dressing rooms.
While NEUFC had the majority of chances in the first half, it was Delhi Dynamos who started the second half well. With Lallianzuala Chhangte making dangerous runs down the left flank, they looked quite well settled while attacking.
However, with eight minutes to go in regulation time, Gallego received the ball inside the penalty box from a botched clearance and the Spaniard made no mistake in guiding the ball to the neck of the net as the visitors extended their unbeaten run in the competition.
Dynamos did try to fight their back into the game but Ogbeche finished off the game with a goal deep into the stoppage time. With Dynamos committing a lot of personnel at the other end, NEUFC were able to catch them off-guard with a swift counterattack and with Gallego providing an inch perfect pass, Ogbeche finished it calmly to net his sixth goal of the competition.
The NorthEast United FC coach praised his players after the game and revealed the tweak that helped them in winning the match.
“We had some suspensions and as a result, I had to opt for a direct approach with a 4-4-2 system. We closed them down well and were able to cut off their chances. We defended really well and got two goals in the end. I’m very proud of how we played,” he said.