NorthEast, Pune City share spoils in entertaining draw

NorthEast United and FC Pune City played out a thrilling 1-1 draw at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Wednesday.

  • Rowllin Borges scored his fourth goal in the 47th minute after a howler from goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh.
  • Adil Khan smashed home the equaliser in the 69th minute with a stunning volley.
  • Jose Leudo received his marching orders in the 89th minute after a spat with Diego Carlos.

The match started on a cagey note with both sides opting to battle it out in midfield, rather than risk committing men in the attack early on. NorthEast enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession, with Federico Gallego and Bartholomew Ogbeche pulling the strings.

However, the first opportunity of the match fell to the Stallions. A dangerous looking Diego Carlos did well to create space for himself down the right wing. His resulting cross found Jonathan Vila inside the box, but the midfielder failed to direct his header on target.

Throughout the half, Gallego did well to find pockets of space, especially down the right flank. The Uruguayan put in decent crosses on a couple of occasions for the likes of Gurwinder Singh and Ogbeche, but nothing came of it.

 NorthEast’s best chance of the half came in the 38th minute when LalthathangaKhawlhring initiated a swift counter-attack. He found Panagiotis Triadis in a dangerous position inside the box. Unfortunately for the hosts, the Greek forward could not find the target with his attempted curler.

A couple of minutes later, Pune thought they had opened the scoring against the run of play. Once again, it was Carlos who did well to get down the right flank before delivering a cross across the face of goal. Iain Hume slotted the ball into the empty net, but the linesman waved his flag for offside. That would prove to be the last piece of action of a cagey first period.

Eelco Schattorie’s half-time talk seemed to work to the tee as the hosts broke the deadlock within the first couple of minutes post the break. With the ball played through the Pune defence, Borges raced through to get on the end of it. Kamaljit Singh seemed favourite to collect the ball, however, the goalkeeper fumbled it, allowing Borges to tap home into the empty net.

Pune, however, did well not to let the goal shake them and started imposing themselves with their attacking threat. Soon enough, they got themselves back in the tie with a sensational effort from Adil Khan. The midfielder ghosted into the penalty box unmarked and got on the end of a cross from the left flank. His well-timed volley flew past Pawan Kumar into the back of the net.

As the game entered its final quarter, Pune was given a golden opportunity to take the lead. A long throw-in from the left flank was poorly handled by the NorthEast defence. The ball fell kindly to Hume and the Canadian took a first-time shot which cannoned off the bar.

With both sides searching for that elusive winning goal, the match took a turn for the worse when Jose Luedo was sent-off. The midfielder was involved with a tussle with Carlos before striking the Brazilian with a dangerous elbow. His careless error left the referee no choice but to send him off. With a few minutes to go, the 10 men of NorthEast decided to shut shop and settle for a draw.

Hero of the Match – Rowllin Borges

Once again, Rowllin Borges proved his worth to the NorthEast faithful with a commanding display from midfield. His lung-bursting runs and composure from the centre of the pitch proved too much to handle for Pune. He was deservedly awarded the Hero of the Match. 

CLUB AWARDS

Club AwardNorthEast United FC and FC Pune City

Swift Limitless Player of the MatchDiego Carlos

DHL Winning Pass of the MatchDiego Carlos

ISL Emerging Player of the MatchAshique Kuruniyan

Hero of the MatchRowllin Borges 

WHAT’S NEXT?

The Highlanders play their final league fixture away to Kerala Blasters on March 1 while Pune host Delhi Dynamos on February 24. 

Watch the match highlights here:

Visit our videos and photos section for exclusive videos and images from the match. 

Your Comments