NorthEast United FC's quest for a second win home win of the season continued as the side played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Jamshedpur FC in their Indian Super League (ISL 2019-20) clash on Monday. The result saw NorthEast United subsequently part ways with coach Robert Jarni later in the night.
Federico Gallego gave NorthEast United the early goal in the fifth minute, while David Grande equalised at the stroke of half-time.
The game came alive in the last quarter as Redeem Tlang put NEUFC ahead with an acrobatic volley, but Noe Acosta restored parity with a fine snapshot. Jamshedpur captain Memo put his side ahead for the first time in the game, with a bullet of a free-kick, but the lead was short-lived as Jose Leudo found the back of the net in the 88th minute to ensure both teams took home a point each.
Here are the key talking points -
1) Jarni sacked
Robert Jarni's maiden Indian Super League season came to a premature end when he was sacked by the club hours after the draw against Jamshedpur.
Winless in 11 matches and well out of the playoff race, Jarni endured a difficult season with the Highlanders. In his 15 games in charge, Jarni led NorthEast United to two wins, seven draws and six losses and currently sits on the ninth spot in the ISL 2019-20 table.
The club confirmed that former Aizawl and East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil will be appointed as interim coach. "Assistant coach Khalid Jamil will take over as the interim coach for the time being before the club finds a suitable replacement."
2) Late goals lead to thrilling draw
For a game that appeared to be heading to a mundane 1-1 draw, the last 15 minutes were an absolute roller-coaster, with each goal better than the previous. Redeem began the goal-fest with a stunning scissor kick, while Acosta followed with a fine snapshot of his own. Then came along Jamshedpur captain Memo, who busted the net with a bullet of a free-kick. It looked like Jamshedpur would sneak away to its second away win of the season but Leudo produced a touch of magic as he fired a volley with two minutes left on the clock to ensure both sides remained on level terms. This was the fifth time the two sides shared the spoils in the six times they have faced eachother.
3) Gallego nets first goal of the season
Gallego was one of NorthEast United's stars last season, but a freakish injury in the playoffs in the playoffs had him on the sidelines for a better part of six months. A lot was expected of him this season too but the Uruguayan was unable to really create an impact and had not scored in 14 games.
He finally opened his season's tally, albeit a tad too late, when he converted a loose ball to give his side the early lead on Monday. He went on to combine well with Redeem and Martin Chaves, but looked to injure his shoulder in the dying embers of the game - which could be a concern for the side.
4) Ill-tempered encounter
The game saw its share of fantastic goals but also saw a slew of bookings. The referee, Germany's Dingert Christian, flashed as many as nine cards, with all of them coming in the second half. The most severe of the lot was Farukh Choudhary's sending off, who came on as a second half substitute. He picked up his first booking within five minutes of his arrival and was sent off for a second yellow card in the 87th minute. His dismissal proved to be decisive as NorthEast went on to equalise the very next minute and deny Jamshedpur a rare win.