Khalid Jamil and company fueled Northeast United to the all important play-offs for the second time in club’s history following a 2-0 victory over Kerala Blasters as VP Suhair and Lalengmawia got their names on scoresheet.
Northeast United started the with an attacking intent and were the first one to create a clear cut chance. A great ball into the box by Luis Machado found an unmarked Dylan Fox who’s effort wasn’t convincing enough and went wide.
The Blasters on the other end had an opportunity to go in front but nothing of that sort happened. Jessel’s corner found a free Bakary Kone who ended up heading the ball over the post in the seventh minute.
The Highlanders switched themselves on and broke deadlock just after the drinks break as some poor defending from the visitors saw VP Suhair net in his second Hero ISL goal to make it 1-0 in favour of Northeast United.
Khalid Jamil’s side were high on confidence after breaking the deadlock. Just before half-time, Lalengmawia produced a strike straight from the heavens and Albino Gomes was never going to save that as Northeast United carried an 2-0 lead into half-time.
The Visitors had a chance to put pressure back on the Highlanders when Rahul KP’s effort went well wide. Northeast United came close to score their third in Machado but the keeper came at rescue for the Blasters.
Deshorn Brown too wanted to get on the scoresheet and came close on multiple occasions but the one to mention came in when he entered the box and his shot struck the crossbar.
Kerala Blasters tried to get something out of their final fixture of the season but Northeast United’s disciplined backline made it impossible for them. In the 85th minute, Deshorn Brown could have scored but his shot found the side netting and fortunately it did not count as the Highlanders secure a play-off berth for the second time in the Club’s history.
Hero of the Match – Lalengmawia
The Boy Wonder bossed the midfield in style for the Highlanders. He had 73 touches, an outstanding passing accuracy of 88% and he also his debut Hero ISL goal in style. He also regained possession 8 times in open play sequences that ended in a shot, the most by a player in this season of the Hero ISL.