Northeast United came out on top against their neighbours as the full-time scoreline read 2-1 in favour of the Highlanders. The first Hero ISL goal for VP Suhair, a red card to Raju Gaikwad, an own goal and a consolation goal by Sarthak Golui summed up Matchday 104.
Northeast United started the game on the front foot and were the ones who created the first chance as Luis Machado’s pass was well met by Deshorn Brown, who registered a shot on target that went straight into the keeper’s gloves.
VP Suhair tried a long ranger in the 20th minute but Mirshad Michu denied him an opener. Moments later, the keeper was yet again brought into action as the corner found Deshorn Brown’s chest and went towards the goal.
Matti Steinmann was the first player from the home side to register a shot on target as his header from a corner found Subhasish’s safe pair of hands who was in no mood to giveaway a clean sheet in his 50th Hero ISL appearance. The Red and Gold brigade had more of ball but failed to create any clear cut chances as both teams went into halftime with scoreline of 0-0.
It a took a long time coming for VP Suhair to score his first ever Hero ISL goal but better late than never. 3 minutes into the second alf and Khalid Jamil’s half-time team talk started to unveil it’s true potential as his side were 0-1 up thanks a great pass by Imran Khan.
Deshorn Brown could have handed his side a two goal cushion as he was through on goal but the keeper came off his line and saved his effort. The Highlanders did double their lead as Nim Dorjee’s cross found Sarthak Golui who slotted it into his own net.
Deshorn Brown had another chance but Raju Gaikwad’s foul stopped him which earned Gaikwad his second yellow of the match. East Bengal were down to 10 men as Raji Gaikwad was given his marching orders in the 71st minute.
Surchandra Singh fired in bullet from distance buy Subhasish stood tall and saved it. Unfortunately, the Highlanders’ skipper couldn’t mark his 50th Hero ISL appearance with a clean sheet as Sarthak Golui made up for his own goal and headed in a consolation goal. The closing stages of the game saw the Highlanders defend more and they did ever so well to pull off a league double against East Bengal.
Hero of the Match – Suhair Vadakkepeedika
The man from Palakkad was undoubtedly the standout performer and rewarded himself with his first ever Hero ISL goal. He had a passing accuracy of 74% and even contributed in the defensive duties as he recorded a successful tackle, one block, two interceptions and two clearances.