ISL: NorthEast United stun SC East Bengal to register their second win this season | Football News – Times of India

The first half of the Indian Super League match in Fatorda on Friday saw a confident SC East Bengal, something that was rarely on display this season.
But at the end of the second, their hopes for the first win had been crushed by coach Manuel Diaz’s tactical mistake and two strikes from NorthEast United in one of the Highlanders’ best 45 minutes of the season so far.
After completely being out-powered by SCEB in the first half where both teams lacked finishing in the attacking third, NEUFC came back a different team in the second – pressing up and creating chances. The change in tempo began to put the SCEB defence in trouble for the first time in the match. And it was not long before it yielded results.
In the 61st minute, the SCEB defence failed to clear the ball out of the box from an NEUFC attack and Suhair VP dashed inside to reach it and shot it with a turn. It hit the near post on the inside and went into the far corner.
With chances galore for the Highlanders, their second goal came soon after, this time from a set piece. Mathias Coureur smartly laid the ball off from a free-kick for Imran Khan on the right flank. He put in a perfect cross towards the far post where a rushing Patrick Flottmann sent a low header past Arindam Bhattacharya and into the net.
Their second victory took NEUFC up three rungs on the ISL ladder to the seventh spot with the same number of points. But SCEB were left languishing at the bottom with three points.
Coming into the match, there was little to differentiate the predicament the wooden spooners found themselves in. And it stayed the same for the first 45 minutes too, with SC East Bengal with the better opportunities to break the deadlock.
Depleted by injury setbacks since the start of the season, NEUFC missed their defensive leader Hernan Santana, injured during the warmup, on Friday – a reason that forced Khalid Jamil to take a more defensive approach after the defeats suffered in their last two games.
SCEB took advantage of that to keep pressing upward with Antonio Perosevic and Daniel Chukwu combining well as their strike duo. And they were almost rewarded in the 20th minute.
Although originating from a miscalculation from NEUFC goalie Mirshad Michu, it was only a wrong call from the assistant referee that stopped Chukwu from converting at goalmouth from a Perosevic cross.
With the Highlanders sitting deep, there were a couple more close chances for the Kolkata club as they scrambled for a breakthrough in the dying minutes of the first half.
But things took a complete turn after the break with Diaz substituting injured defender Franjo Prce with midfielder Amir Dervisevic and repeatedly bringing in attacking players for defensive replacements.