A game that held us tight on the edge of our seats saw the Highlanders ensure the best ever Valentine’s day gift for their fans as they handed Odisha a 3-1 defeat the Tilak Maidan. Machado’s Brace and Deshorn’s strike ensured all three points for Northeast. Brad Inman scored his first ever Hero ISL goal late in the first half.
From the first whistle itself, the attacking intent was visible in Northeast United. It took nothing more than 9 minutes for the Highlanders to break the deadlock as Ashutosh Mehta’s first time cross was well met by a finish straight from the heavens from Luis Machado.
The Visitors had a 50-50 chance to bring things back on level terms within a matter of just 4 minutes but Daniel Lalhimpuia’s effort couldn’t test Northeast United skipper Subhasish in goal. The Highlanders wanted more and came close to score a second but Jacob tratt’s perfectly timed tackle denied Northeast a second goal.
A few moments later, it was Federico Gallego who brought Arshdeep into action and forced him to pull off a fine save. Gallego was denied a goal but he did pull off an assist for Northeast United’s second goal. The Uruguayan played a perfect pass for Deshorn Brown and the Highlanders’ lastest import made no mistake to put the ball through the keeper’s legs.
In the 24th minute, Gallego played a ball over Odisha’s defence and Luis Machado timed his header to perfection to bring the Highlanders a 3 goal cushion. Federico Gallego created two more chances for Deshorn Brown before half-time but Arshdeep was in no mood to concede the 4th goal on both occasions.
Just before the half-time whistle, Odisha pulled one back in Brad Inman who scored his first goal in India. The Aussie’s shot took a deflection from Mashoor Shereef as Subhasish Roy Chowdhury had no answer to it and the Half-time scoreline read 3-1 to the Highlanders.
Northeast United could have scored their 4th goal in the match but Arshdeep had different plans. Two fine saves from Odisha FC’s number 1 saw Luis Machado being denied his first ever Hero ISL hattrick somewhere near the hour mark.
Odisha gave a better account of themselves in second half and enjoyed the possession. In the 66th minute Brad Inman yet again had the opportunity to score his second goal but his effort went well wide.
Diego Maurício’s header was kept out by Subhasish. Odisha forced Northeast United to feel the heat in the closing stages of regulation time. A free-kick from the right flank found Steven Taylor but the Englishman saw his almost perfect effort being ruled out by the crossbar and Jerry’s shot found the back of the net in the follow up but his goal did not stand as the referee saw Lalengmawia being fouled by Jacob Tratt.
Gurjinder became the first player from Northeast United’s camp who received his marching orders following a second yellow card and the Highlanders were down to 10 men. Odisha tried to capitalise on the numerical advantage and Jerry did come close to score but his shot well blocked by Ashutosh Mehta.
One last push from Northeast United saw Arshdeep yet again standing tall in a 1v1 situation against Deshorn Brown. Odisha FC kept on pushing bodies forward and forced the Highlanders to defend in the closing stages of the game but fell short yet again.
Hero of the Match – Federico Gallego
Another day, another Hero of the match performance by Federico Gallego. The Uruguayan played an influential role for his side as he created five chances and even provided two assists.