Cesar Farias substitutions earns NorthEast United crucial three points, as both Chennaiyin and NorthEast United aim for the semi-finals
The Hero Indian Super League match between Chennaiyin and NorthEast United struck by incessant thunder and lightning disturbed the rhythm of the game, as the officials were forced to halt the match for quite some time. Chennaiyin took the lead soon after the play resumed, but they failed to hold on to the lead thanks to a howler from Edel Bete. The Highlanders with an inspired substitution of Silas won the game.
Both teams made quite a few changes, NorthEast opting to give Diomansy Kamara, Seityasen Singh and Francis Dadzie a start, while Chennaiyin eleceted to start Edel Apoula, Mailson, Balwant alongside debutant Zakeer Mundampara to accommodate the absence of Indian internationals.
Heavy rain was predicted and Chennaiyin looked to adapt better to the conditions, as soon after the kickoff the skies started pouring heavily. NorthEast United found themselves struggling, with Chennaiyin looking to play long in the early quarters of the game.
The NEUFC goalkeeper TP Rehenesh was called into the action on the 16th minute, when Elanoa s shot from distance towards the bottom left corner looked dangerous in the condition.
Just before the match was stopped for the incessant amount of rainfall, the Highlanders looked to have finally adapted to the conditions. The stoppage in play proved to be fatal, as Chennaiyin soon after the play resumed went on to take the lead from Elanoa s wonderstrike on the 33rd minute.
Chennaiyin, who looked to play long ball due to the conditions, benefited when Andre Bikey failed to properly clear the danger and the ball inevitably went to Elano, who was lurking outside the box for a failed clearance, struck a beautiful volley to the bottom corner.
The Highlanders having gone down, resumed with renewed determination and Seityasen Singha s cheeky attempt on the 36th minute nearly caught Bete off the line. The Armenian didna t prove to be as lucky like the previous occasion on the 44th minute, as Diomansy Kamara scored from Betea s howler with a tapin.
Betea s poor day seemed only to be going worse when Seityasen Singh made a confident run but Singh could muster a weak shot towards the Chennaiyin goal.
NorthEast Uniteda s Cesar Farias substituted Simao Sabrosa on the 71st minute for Silas and within a minute Silas made the difference to the scoreline as expertly converted Kamaraa s cross past Bete.
Chennaiyin, though, had the chance to level the score on the 87th minute but Stiven Mendoza was the culprit to miss the guilt edged chances, as he shot wide after managing to control Fikrua s cross inside the box.
Image Courtesy: ISL Media