NorthEast United FC registered a hard-fought, 1-0 win over Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 clash at the G.M.C. Balayogi Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday evening.
This was the third defeat for the home team in four games so far and its first in two games at home. On the other hand, the NorthEast outfit remained unbeaten with two wins and two draws in four games to move to the top of the ISL 2019-20 table with eight points.
Missed the game? Catch up with the dramatic contest between Hyderabad FC and NorthEast United FC on our ISL special podcast - The Full Time Show.
After the two teams were locked goalless at half-time, NEUFC clinched the issue when substitute Maximiliano Barreiro smartly converted the spot kick in the 86th minute. He foxed the Hyderabad custodian and captain Kamaljit Singh, who dived to his left, as he slotted the ball to his right to trigger celebrations in the NEUFC camp.
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The hard work of Kamaljit's team went abegging in that crucial moment when Hyderabad FC’s S. Shankar, in his poor attempt to clear a close range strike from the edge of the box from midfielder Jaos David Leudo, saw the ball brush his right hand when he tried to head it away. The foul resulted in a spot kick, much to the delight of the NEUFC camp.
What was creditable for NEUFC was it could wrap up a win despite its star striker Asamoah Gyan limping off the field within five minutes on resumption after the break. But, to his credit, substitute Panagiotis Triadis was up to the task.
It was a match where there was little to choose and a story of missed chances for both the teams. There were a few early threatening forays by the classy Asamoah when the match began, thanks to the enterprising duo of Redeem Tlang and Reagan Singh on the right flank.
Podcast: After the opening fortnight of the 2019-20 Indian Super League, we at Sportstar decided to review the opening phase of the league and bring the important pointers to you. Also included is lessons for India coach Igor Stimac. Listen in:
But it looked as if Hyderabad would take the lead, against the run of play, in the 14th minute when the hard-working Mohammed Yasir essayed a lovely through ball from the centre to the waiting star striker Marcelo Pereira. However, the latter's cross just went past the goalkeeper Subashish Roy.
In the 26th minute, Hyderabad had another scoring chance when Marcelo and Gurtej Singh worked in tandem before playing a short pass to the perfectly positioned midfielder Marko Stankovic, but his right-footer narrowly went wide of the upright.
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