Machado’s late penalty earns NorthEast a point after six-goal thriller against Chennaiyin
NorthEast United FC ensured that they maintained their recent unbeaten run intact in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 following a 3-3 draw against Chennaiyin FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Thursday. It was an end-to-end game that saw Lallianzuala Chhangte give Chennaiyin an early lead before strikes from Imran Khan and Deshorn Brown put NorthEast ahead at the break. The second half saw Manuel Lanzarote score from the spot and Chhangte net again to reestablish the Marina Machans’ lead, but Luis Machado netted a late penalty for NorthEast as the teams settled for a point each.
- Chennaiyin took the lead early through Lallianzuala Chhangte but Imran Khan restored parity for NorthEast.
- Deshorn Brown put the Highlanders in front before the halftime interval.
- A Manuel Lanzarote penalty and Chhangte’s second goal put Chennaiyin back in front early after the restart but a Luis Machado penalty in injury time made it all square.
Chennaiyin broke the deadlock in the 8th minute when a Jakub Sylvestr pass towards the left found Chhangte, who was in the box and created a yard of space for himself before firing an effort across the goalkeeper to make it 1-0.
NorthEast though weren’t behind for too long and equalised just six minutes later. Machado did well to make a penetrative run down the left before putting in a deflected cross for Imran, who adjusted his body shape quickly to use his head and power the ball beyond the goalkeeper.
Khassa Camara then put Machado through on goal shortly after but the Chennaiyin goalkeeper came off his line to thwart the danger. Both sides looked to continue attacking and shared the possession evenly as Lanzarote saw an effort of his from range in the 28th minute saved by the goalkeeper.
NorthEast went up the other end with Machado forcing Vishal Kaith into a save and Brown tried to follow up and bundle the ball over the line on the rebound as the Chennaiyin custodian recovered in time to come to his side’s rescue again.
Kaith’s opposite number Subhasish Roy then misjudged a Lanzarote freekick into the box in the 36th minute as he failed to collect the ball which went on to hit the frame of the goal before being cleared to safety.
The Highlanders went on to take their lead seven minutes later after a simple long ball forward from the back took Chennaiyin’s defence out of the picture and gave Brown a direct and uncontested path to goal. The Jamaican striker sprinted away with the ball before thumping it into the bottom corner to make it 2-1 at the break for NorthEast.
The Marina Machans began the second half with good tempo and they were rewarded with a penalty after four minutes following an Ashutosh Mehta foul on Chhangte. Lanzarote stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner in the 50th minute to make it all square.
The two-time champions then went on to retake the lead a couple minutes later after NorthEast conceded possession in their own half, allowing Edwin Vanspaul to release Chhangte, who unleashed a venomous shot from inside the box that took a deflection off Benjamin Lambot and went into the net. Vanspaul then attempted a left-footed shot from distance a minute before the hour mark and saw his effort tipped over the crossbar for a corner.
The closing stages of the contest saw NorthEast dominate possession as Chennaiyin were glad to sit back and soak up the pressure while protecting their lead. Substitute Idrissa Sylla saw a header off a cross from the left go fractions wide of the target in the 86th minute. He also fired a powerful shot on target in the last minute of regulation time but Kaith made the save.
The Highlanders’ pressure though eventually led to Kaith conceding a penalty in stoppage time and Machado went on to dispatch the spotkick to get NorthEast back on level terms as the teams shared the spoils after a hard-fought draw. Following the result, NorthEast remained in the hunt for the semis. As regards Chennaiyin, they were already out of contention heading into this game.
Hero of the Match – Lallianzuala Chhangte
Lallianzuala Chhangte was unplayable at times during Chennaiyin’s draw against NorthEast. The talented Indian winger scored in both halves and could have easily had a hat-trick with a bit of luck on another night. With two goals, he took his overall tally to four this season.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award – Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Jakub Sylvestr (Chennaiyin FC)
Watch the Match Highlights here: