ISL 2020-21 news: Hyderabad FC, NorthEast United share spoils

Both Hyderabad FC and NorthEast United FC moved into the top-four of the 2020-21 Indian Super League standings after playing out a 0-0 draw at the Tilak Maidan.

After the 0-0 draw on Sunday, Hyderabad FC (3rd) and NorthEast United FC (4th) are tied on 23 points from 16 matches, and are only separated by goal difference.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Hyderabad FC (HFC) and NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) played out a goalless draw in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Sunday. Both Hyderabad and NorthEast have 23 points from 16 matches and moved into third and fourth places, respectively, on the table.

NEUFC head coach Khalid Jamil, who made six changes to the line-up from the 2-2 draw against FC Goa, was content on conceding the initiative to Hyderabad, which shaded 65 and 61 per cent possession, respectively, in either half. But NEUFC managed to close out the space between the lines and prevented Hyderabad’s front four from having any effect in the attacking third. HFC for its part wasn’t at its usual best with its passing and was let down by some poor touches in the penalty box.

MATCH BLOG | ISL 2020-21 highlights: Hyderabad FC, NorthEast United play out 0-0 draw

NorthEast posed its threat on the counter and from set-pieces. In the 23rd minute, Akash Mishra headed away a Luis Machado cross and the ball lobbed up inside the box. Lalengmawia ran onto it and met the ball with a header but couldn’t direct it past Laxmikant Kattimani.

The second half, too, followed a similar pattern with both sides finding it hard to create big goal-scoring chances. Hyderabad head coach Manolo Marquez brought on Liston Colaco and Roland Alberg to add more creativity to break down a sturdy defence, while Jamil introduced Deshorn Brown to provide incisiveness in attack.

However, late in the game, it was NEUFC's centre-back Benjamin Lambot, who had an opening from a dead-ball situation by Federico Gallego, but the towering figure fired it over the bar from close range. In stoppage time, Gallego threaded in a through-ball for Machado’s run but Kattimani came off his line to deny the Portuguese star a shot at goal and ensure that his side held on for a point.

THE RESULT: Hyderabad FC 0 drew with NorthEast United FC 0

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