NorthEast United blows life into the season with win over FC Goa...

Rohit Ganguly  |  Northeast United  |  1 Year Ago

North-East United registered their maiden victory of this year’s ISL as they went on to trounce Goa in a high-octane match. They put up a tremendous display across the entire field to stage a comeback from the ignominy in the previous game where they were thrashed at the hands of table-topper, FC Pune City.


Brazilian talisman Marcinho struck the first goal of the night and sent the onlookers into an unstoppable frenzy. He was fortuitous as his shot struck the woodwork but by the time stranded Kattimani recovered to thwart the ball from going in, it rolled into the net.



However, the joys were transient for the hosts as Arana struck from close range in order to restore parity for Goa just within 7 minutes. Despite conceding the lead, North-East displayed an indomitable spirit and kept on hounding back at the visitors. Their salvo finally paid-off dividends in the initial minutes of the second-half after Marcinho unleashed a peach of a defence-splitting pass and Seminlen Doungel made an equally fast maneuver to latch on to it and dink the ball home with a delicate touch over an advancing Kattimani.


Goa almost restored parity again, only if Manvir Singh wouldn’t have smitten the woodwork from the point-blank range where he had the entire goal open to him. He would definitely like to forget tonight. Goa did unleash a barrage of attacks on the North-East rearguard in the dying embers of the game but it all went down the drain as the Highlanders refused to leave without three points and put up a resolute defence.


We will now sneak a peek into five factors which tipped the scales of the game:

1. Marcinho made all the difference for North-East in the striking zone

The Brazilian talisman, Marcinho, seemed relentless in the North-East attacks tonight. He kept on running across the entire field and took an ineffable workload on himself. Right since the first minute, he made his presence felt when he whipped in a through ball for Len only for the latter to fritter it away to Mandar Rao Desai. Marcinho reiterated his feat again after four minutes after he dribbled past a couple of defenders with some fancy footwork and teed up Danilo, however, the latter’s shot was staved away by Kattimani.



Marcinho showed no signs of relenting as he started unleashing one through-ball after another only for the deliveries to be squandered away. He finally decided to take up the task on himself, at this time he found himself at the end of a delectable pass from Danilo and he smashed the ball onto the woodwork and it rolled into the net thereby drawing first blood.


He stamped his authority again as he went on to release a gem of a delivery for Doungel and the latter did a commendable job to see the ball home and restoring his team’s lead.


Marcinho kept on compelling Kattimani to make stellar saves as his shots flew in every direction, thereby leaving the Goa rearguard dazed.


Goa finally breathed a sigh of respite for the last 5 minutes when the hero of the match was finally swapped for Junior Abdul Hakku.

2. Attack and counter-attack at its very best

This game witnessed the best of attacking football from both the contingencies. North-East United came out altogether in a different avatar as they started attacking right from the word go. Marcinho led the charge up front consorted with Danilo and Doungel.


Marcinho’s crosses from both ends kept Kattimani busy until the very end. Danilo’s tricky and toot sweet runs down the attacking third kept on bemusing the visitors and they simply had no response to this trio’s magical display on the pitch.

However, like they say that attack is the best defence, Goa started counter-attacking and the upshot was the equalizer on the 28th minute by Arana and the pressure restored on the Highlanders subsequently.


Goa started firing on all cylinders after the one-hour mark and this resulted in zillions of chances for the visitors to not only restore parity but they could have easily logged full points from the game and walked away with the bragging rights.


However, Manvir Singh failed to nudge the ball home from the closest distance despite a proper strike could have seen them back in the game again. Rehenesh came to the deliverance of his team several times as he stood tall and kept the battery of relentless attacks from Goa at bay.

3. Never-give-up attitude from North-East

It seemed that the Highlanders under the tutelage of their new gaffer, Avram Grant, were hardwired with the will to carry on with defending their lead right until the entire night was over if needed.


Despite facing several attacks from all fronts, North East stood tall. Nirmal Chettri led from the back and waylaid every single cross for the last 20 minutes which resulted in the nullification of all the moves from the visitors.



Whatever slipped past this veteran of Indian football was taken care of with efficacy by Rowlin Borges, Sambinha, and T.P Rehenesh.


Rehenesh came out of his line with confidence and collected all the balls that posed even an iota of threat towards the North East Goal.

4. Manvir’s miss on the 78th minute

Young and talented footballer, Manvir Singh would probably like to mull over the fact that how on earth, he failed to steer the ball home from point-blank range.


It all unspooled when Lanzarote curled in a gem of a cross for Arana, who probably carried away by his previous goal, took a piledriver but Rehenesh stood up equal to the task and pulled a stunning save. However, the rebound fell for Manvir Singh.


With all the time in the world and the entire goal open in front of him, Manvir struck the ball onto the woodwork with meaty force and the rebound was cleared by North East defence. Even if this ball would have swerved an inch, Goa could have shared the spoils of the game. However, fortune favours the brave.

5. Both the goalkeepers were at their phenomenal best despite the outcome 

Lakshmi Kant Kattimani displayed tremendous resolve to keep several attacks of North-East at bay. He managed to pull two goal-line saves, one from Marcinho and the other from Danilo. He even flew high to stave away the corners and collected the aerial balls with consummate ease. However, he found himself at the receiving end due to a non-existent defence from Goa.


Rehenesh on the other end traded 4 off the 5 shots hurled at him with panache and turned out to be the vocal grenade for the team from the back. He charged out of his line several times and not even for a single time was he drubbed. However, he was hapless when the goal went past him as his vision was obscured by the defender and he was left flat-footed by the feral strike from Arana.

Can Northeast United make it to the Top-4?
Yes, they will
Can't say
Come on, no chance


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