Nestor Albiach Roger scored twice in the against Shillong Lajong to give NorthEast United FC their first win in the Super Cup Group at the Kalinga Stadium on Monday.

United had to fight hard to get their first win in nine matches this season. This win keeps them in the race for a place in the semi-finals, with a match left in hand against Kerala Blasters FC in group B on January 20. United lost their first match of the group against Jamshedpur FC.

United started positively as they stormed the Lajong defensive lines with attacks from the flanks. The first real chance of the match fell to Romain Philippoteaux, whose shot was blocked by the Lajong defence in the eighth minute. Lajong were looking to sit back and play on the counter in the early minutes of the game.

The first goal of the match came in the 17th minute when Brazilian Douglas Rosa Tardin’s shot from just outside the box proved too challenging for United custodian Dipesh Chauhan, who struggled to deal with the bounce, resulting in the ball hitting the back of the net.

United dominated possession but failed to create a clear opportunity to equalise. Lajong came very close to doubling their lead when Daniel Goncalves hit the woodwork from a brilliant freekick in the 27th minute.

It took United 44 minutes to muster up their first real chance at goal, but Parthib Gogoi failed to judge the run of the ball from a brilliant cross by Phillippoteaux and let the ball run out.

United upped the ante in the second half, piling on the pressure on the Lajong defence. Dinesh’s attempt in the 51st minute was well saved by Neitho to keep Lajong’s lead intact. The pressure finally paid off when Nestor slotted home the equaliser in the 59th minute with an easy header from close range to level the score

Although United looked like the better team on the pitch, Lajong were brave and showed no signs of backing down as they went forward with vigour and intent.

The turning point of the match came in the 67th minute when Nickson was tripped inside the penalty box by Pursunep, resulting in the referee pointing to the spot to offer United a penalty. Nestor steeped forward and calmly put the ball in the back of the net to give United the lead and three points in the end.