NorthEast United beat Chennayin FC 3-0 at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati on Friday. Goals from Parthib Gogoi, Phalguni Singh and Asheer Akhtar made the difference for the home team.
But it was the visitors who were the better of the two sides in the early exchanges. There were opportunities for Connor Shields and Farukh Choudhary to give Marina Machans the lead but the finishing was not good enough.
As the minutes passed by Northeast United FC grew in the game and started to catch Chennaiyin’s FC defence by surprise.
Five minutes from half-time Choudhary missed another chance to convert as Chennaiyin started to slack off. No sooner had Choudhary missed the chance, Northeast carried the ball to the other end of the pitch. Romain Philippoteaux found an unmarked Gogoi who unleashed a thunderbolt from outside the box in the 42nd minute. The shot was so perfectly timed and placed that a fully-stretched Samik Mitra had no chance of making a save.
NorthEast doubled their lead three minutes into the second half as a brilliant solo run followed by a defence splitting pass from Míchel Zabaco found Albiach waiting in the wings. With the ball at his feet, Albiach laid an inch-perfect pass for a rushing Phalguni Singh who had no trouble converting.
The pressure of trailing by two goals started to show on Chennaiyin FC’s as Coyle was forced to make a few substitutions soon after Singh’s goal.
Such was the visitors’ plight that Ankit Mukherjee had to fulfil the goalkeeping duties in the dying minutes of the match as an injured Mitra was taken off the field. With an outfielder in between the sticks, defender Asheer Akhtar hit a long range shot to score NorthEast’s third goal in the first minute of the injury time.
The win helped NorthEast end its four-match losing streak.