India’s 72nd Republic Day saw the Hero ISL’s Red Chilli peppers Northeast United clinch their first ever victory at the Fatorda and also their first victory against ATK Mohun Bagan in Matchday 72 of the Hero ISL.
Luis Machado broke the deadlock and scored his 4th of the season in the second half. Roy Krishna did restore parity for his side but the King of Northeast Federico Gallego slotted in a real contender for the goal of the season in the closing stages of the game that sealed the deal for Khalid Jamil’s side.
The Highlanders were well aware of the threat ATK MohunBagan’s attack posses and they did defend well in the opening stages of the game. Javier Hernandez was the first player to create a chance but his efforts went well wide. It was the indigenous Australian David Williams who made sure he brings Subhasish info action with the first save of the game in the 15th minute.
It was a chance on the other end of the pitch for Northeast United to step up in the 32nd minute when Luis Machado brought Arindam into action and the latter did well to deny Northeast an early lead. Yet again in the 38th minute it was a chance for the team in red as Deshorn Brown found himself in a scoring position but the Jamaican’s effort went over the crossbar.
‘The Chance’ of the game came in for the Mariners when David Williams set up a beautiful scoring opportunity for Prabir Das but the ball was too quick for Prabir to react and couldn’t make the most out of the chance as both teams went into halftime with a score lone of 0-0.
ATK Mohun Bagan started the second half with a dominating intent but they lacked the all important final touch. Northeast United had no different intentions either as they stepped up and broke the deadlock in Luis Machado. Tiri’s poor clearance found Federico Gallego and a magical touch from the Uruguayan was enough to find Luis Machado who calmly scored his fourth of the season.
The Highlanders were in no mood to settle for a single goal and were pushing themselves for a second. Khassa Camara forced Arindam to make a vital save and the hosts were awarded a corner. Northeast United’s well setup corner almost got them a second as they came ever so close yet so far as Mashoor’s header found the woodwork.
The Mariners created a brilliant chance for themselves as Substitute Komal Thatal’s pass found Carl McHugh and his accurate delivery was finished well by Roy Krishna as the game was back on level terms.
The Mariners too did not want to settle for a draw as they came close to take the lead but Mashoor and Nim Dorjee made sure there’s no change in the scoreline with a block and a goal line clearance respectively.
The closing stages of the game saw some serious end to end action from both the teams. Just 3 minutes after the goal line clearance from Nim Dorjee, the Highlanders were back into the lead as Federico Gallego scored a beautiful low curler and even the woodwork on his side.
Northeast United were 2-1 up but we’re hungry for more as Luis Machado came close to score his second brace of the season but missed the target by inches. The Full-time whistle saw Khalid Jamil getting second win in a row as Northeast United broke the curse for never being able to secure a win at the Fatorda.
Hero of the Match: Federico Gallego
The Uruguayan lynchpin was undoubtedly the best performer on the pitch. He assisted the first goal for Luis Machado and scored the winner himself which ensured back to back wins for Northeast United.