Indian Super League (ISL) outfit NorthEast United FC delivered a blistering performance, recording an emphatic 4-0 win over Shillong Lajong FC in their opening match of the Durand Cup 2023 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Friday.

NorthEast United FC forward Parthib Gogoi secured his first senior hat-trick, while Romain Philippoteaux scored the other goal as the Highlanders cruised to an easy win in their first competitive match under the new head coach, Juan Pedro Benali.

The ISL side asserted pressure from the opening minutes of the match, and it was Gogoi who gave his side a well-deserved lead in the 26th minute when the Shillong Lajong goalkeeper failed to grab Rochharzela’s curling effort from the edge of the box. Gogoi made no mistake, in firing it home.
Minutes later, Philippoteaux showcased his nimble footwork to manoeuvre past the opponent's defence, but he was illegally brought down inside the box by the Shillong Lajong defender. The goalkeeper guessed the right way, but he couldn’t save the shot as the Frenchman doubled the lead for NorthEast United FC.

In the second half, the Highlanders sustained their dominance over the opposition, building on a comfortable 2-0 lead from the opening half. Gogoi notched his second goal of the match with a simple tap-in from close range. The 20-year-old completed his hat-trick with another exceptional finish, aided by Jithin MS's delivery of an inch-perfect square pass.

This victory is bound to significantly enhance the confidence of NorthEast United FC as they gear up to confront FC Goa in a potential Group D decider on August 12 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.