Struggling NorthEast scripts lifeline win over Goa

The goals for the host, its first in four matches at home this season, came from Brazilian Marcio Junior and Seiminlen Doungel as Avram Grant made a winning start in the India Super league.

Seiminlen Doungel chipped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani to score the winning goal.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

The arrival of celebrated coach Avram Grant fired up the spirits of NorthEast United FC which came out of the shadows of repeated failures to down a strong FC Goa 2-1 in an Indian Super League match here at the Indira Gandhi Stadium on Saturday. Coming after a series of four losses, the win seemed to give the host the lifeline it was desperately looking for.


The goals for the host came from Brazilian Marcio Junior and Seiminlen Doungel while the visitor pulled one back through Spaniard Manuel Arana. North East started well and had a sight at the goal in the sixth minute when a nice through ball from Marcinho saw his compatriot and striker Danilo Lopes breaking into the Goa box. The Brazilian’s effort was well saved by the Goa custodian Laxmikant Kattimani.

Goa replied back four minutes later with a fine counter-offensive but the host was saved by its 'keeper T.P. Rehenesh, who denied an effort from the Goa forward Ferran Corominas.

NorthEast was rewarded for its efforts in the 21st minute as Marcinho found the net to bring up the first goal for the host in its fourth outing at home. The goal happened as Danilo played a chip inside the box that Marcinho controlled well within a short space and jabbed it towards goal. The ball took a deflection of Goa’s defensive midfielder Ahmed Jahouh and hit both the uprights before rolling home.

The host could not celebrate for long as Goa got the equaliser back within seven minutes. The visitor cashed on a defensive slip committed by the host’s Swiss defender Jose Goncalves. This happened when the Goa left winger Pronay Halder set a deep cross across the NorthEast’s goalmouth. Goncalves mistimed his attempted clearance allowing Arana, who was lurking nearby, to volley home the gift.

The change of ends brought in a more resolved host as Grant tried to plug the gaps that the host showed in its attacks in the opening session. Before Goa could plot a turnaround, the host was pounding its defence with ceaseless offensive moves.

The Highlanders was rewarded for its relentless pursuits as it got the lead back in the 52nd minute. Marcinho, the most creative man in the NorthEast attack, played a through ball few yards from the centre to find the striker Doungel. Sensing danger, Kattimani charged out of his post but Doungel acted smartly and chipped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper to make it a spectacular finish.

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