NorthEast United FC made a bright start to the game but could only muster a draw against Delhi Dynamos in the Hero Indian Super League on Tuesday.
The visiting side NorthEast United FC, having lost 1-5 against Mumbai City FC in their previous match, made a hosts of changes that saw Francis Dadzie, Diomansy Kamara, Sanju Pradhan, Seityasen Singh and Yumnam Raju start in place of Nicolas Velez, Simao, Siam Hanghal, Boithang Haokip and Reagan Singh.
Dynamos marquee player Roberto Carlos handed himself the first start of the tournament as Dynamos made two changes to their team from the last match with Sehnaj Singh, and Carlos coming in for Souvik Chakrobarty, and Chicao respectively.
The Highlanders started the match with an intent to win so as to catch up with the Chennaiyin, Mumbai City FC and Atletico de Kolkata, who are level on 10 points. The side from Guwahati went on an attacking overload during the first quarter of the game and was nearly rewarded on the seventh minute as Dadzie managed to connect his head to Seityasena s cross from the left.
The technical malfunction in the floodlights, which led to a delay in starting the match, seemed to work in favour of the Highlanders, as Delhi Dynamos failed to settle the match The Highlanders went all out in attack to nick an early goal but failed in front of the resolute defending of the Lions.
Delhi Dynamos marquee player cum coach Carlos had the first chance for the Lions on the 15th minute but would only hit the wall from the free kick. But chances came far and few for Delhi and Toni Doblas had to make a double save to stop NorthEast United from taking the lead on the 33rd minute
Four minutes later, much against the run of play Delhi Dynamos managed to take the lead, as Gadze unleashed a shot from Florent Maloudaa s through ball. The first half ended with score remaining the same, but NorthEast United would be ruing their luck to not go into the break with scores level.
NorthEast United FC started the same way as they ended the first half and Sanjua s cross cum shot nearly caught Doblas unaware on the 47th minute but was somehow saved to avert the danger.
Delhi responded with Riisea s piledriver effort from the free-kick on the 52nd minute as Rehenesh was could catch it completely in his second effort. The Highlander number 10 Silas also tried his luck from a freekick a few minutes later for NEUFC and but hit the crossbar.
NorthEast United FC, on the 61st minute, had a glorious opportunity as Dadzie beat the offside trap and caught Doblas unaware, but the shot hit the post much to Dynamos respite.
Kamara on the 71st minute, made amends for missing an earlier chance, as he earned a freekick just outside the box for NorthEast United FC. Simao scored from the freekick with his first touch of the game and the crowd with a huge number of NEUFC supporters went berserk with the goal. The remaining match went goalless as neither team managed to break the deadline
Image Courtesy: ISL Media