Bottom-placed Delhi Dynamos were left to rely on a late strike from substitute Kalu Uche to get the better of NorthEast United FC 1-0 in Guwahati. NorthEast and Delhi are now level on 11 points with the capital outfit last in the table on account of inferior goal difference.
NorthEast United coach Avram Grant made one change to the team following their loss to Jamshedpur FC as Robert Lalthamuana replaced Reagan Singh in the backline. As for the visiting side, Miguel Angel Portugal made as many as six changes with Rowilson Rodrigues, Sena Ralte, Seityasen Singh, Manuel Arana, Jeroen Lumu and David Nghaite coming in for Jayananda Moirangthem, Munmun Lugun, Romeo Fernandes, Paulinho Dias, Uche and Lallianzuala Chhangte.
After a rather timid first half, Delhi finally broke the deadlock with Uche’s thunderous header in the 87th minute of the match at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.
David Nghaite floated in a cross from the right and the ball just held up for Uche, who jumped to produce a header, which did not give the NorthEast United goalkeeper any chance. Incidentally, the goal was the only shot on target by the Dynamos in the 90 plus four minutes of added time.
The Dynamos didn’t start the second half too well, with NorthEast United FC looking like the better team, much like in the first 45 minutes. However, some clever changes from the visitors saw them gain momentum and put pressure on the hosts.
Eventually, the winner came and Dynamos bagged three points. Ninth-placed NorthEast United will be disappointed with themselves as they were the better team for most part of the game, creating plenty of chances that went begging.
Earlier, chances were far and few in the first half. NorthEast United FC were the better of the two teams. Seiminlen Doungel had the best chance of the half, through which he could have put his team ahead.
(With inputs from PTI)