Guwahati: Delhi Dynamos ensured a semifinal berth for themselves in the ongoing season of Indian Super League with a thrilling 2-1 win over NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday evening.
Robin Singh (30′) and Gustavo dos Santos (88′) struck in either side of the pitch for visitors that saw them through to the knock-out round. However, for the hosts Seityasen Singh (37′) scored in a losing cause.
Going in the game, NorthEast coach Ceasar Farias three changes handing starts to Diomansy Kamara – came back after suspension – along with Victory Mendy and Seityasen Singh. Whereas Delhi coach, Roberto Carlos made as many changes with handing starts to Richard Gadze, Hans Mulder and Sehnaj Singh.
Within five minutes into the game Delhi were suffered a major blow when defender Souvik Chakrabarti had to leave the pitch on stetcher.
Despite the jolt, Delhi were looked as better side while attacking and after causing some nervous moments for the NorthEast keeper Rehenesh T P, the visitors surged ahead while taking full advantage of a defensive error when the NorthEast defense failed to clear the punch of Rehenesh from a Florent Malouda free-kick that fell for an unmarked Robin, who slotted the ball home in the 30th minute.
Momentarily, Robin almost doubled the advantage for his side but this time Rehenesh was alert and went down in time to deny the India international before he could shot one from inside.
However, it did not take long for NorthEast United to found equaliser that came through Seityasen, who capitalized on a defensive lapse close to the Delhi box and calmly finished the ball into the back of the net in the 37th minute. Before the half-time the hosts nearly took the lead but Simao’s shot from a low cross inside neither had the power nor direction which could test Rehenesh.
Changing over, both teams pressed hard to score the elusive goal and NorthEast United looked promising for that especially after Nicolas Velez’s inclusion into the field, the Argentine make some good inroads into the Delhi defense, but twice being blocked by the last defender.
However, with dos Santos – came on for Vinicius in the second-half – the visitors created some brilliant moves upfront. dos Santos almost put his side ahead with left-footer but Rehenesh did a fine job thawrting the Brazilian’s effort from distance. dos Santos was finally rewarded for this effort when he latched on to a loose ball after Mulder was
dispossessed by the NorthEast defense, the referee waved play on and Santos kept his cool and rolled the ball into the left corner Rehenesh to give his team the decisive lead in the 88th minute.
In the remainder of the game Delhi held onto their lead to log their sixth win of the season, that took them into second position in the league table with 21 points behind leaders Atletico de Kolkata, who are on 23. Whereas, NorthEast United, who are still in the top half of the table, but on 17 points with negative goal differenceare they are in a tricky situation with only one match left to play.
MOM: Gustavo dos Santos (Delhi Dynamos)
NorthEast United XI: Rehenesh T P (GK), Reagan Singh, Cedric Hengbart, Javier Lopez, Yumnam Raju, Setiyasen Singh, Silas, Diomansy Kamara, Siam Hanghal, Simao Sabrosa (c), Victor Mendy
Delhi Dynamos XI: Antonio Doblas (GK), Souvik Chakrabarti, Anas Edathodika, Anderson Chicao, Zodingliana Ralte, Hans Mulder, Sehnaj Singh, Vinicus, Florent Malouda, Robin Singh, Richard Gadze