In a back and forth game at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, NorthEast United managed to salvage a point after a dramatic equaliser in the dying minutes of injury time saw their game against Chennaiyin FC end in a 3-3 draw. A thrilling game from the opening whistle, the action was frantic and NorthEast managed to thrice pull themselves back to parity after going behind three times.
“Fantastic game for the supporters and for the fans to watch, six goals and to watch the score changing all the time”, NorthEast head coach Nelo Vingada said after the game about a contest that really was quite the thriller.
The game was an important one for both sides in their chase for a semi-final spot. Chennaiyin striker Dudu scored a hat-trick for the hosts who led 3-2 with just a few minutes left to go for the final whistle. NorthEast though, forced a corner and Shouvik Ghosh found himself unmarked and powered a header home to net his team a share of the points.
Nelo Vingada thought it was a fair result, “Honestly, I think we deserve the draw. Draw is the correct result for what happened during the game. Maybe also, we have more clear chances than them, but the result is important for us.”
“Remember we lost in Goa last second, we drew in Kolkata in the last second too. Those games we were better than the opponent team, today we were not better than Chennai, but also Chennai was not better than us”, Vingada continued, referencing the other close finishes that his team has been involved in this season.
He also dismissed the idea that they were simply lucky to tie the game. “During the time the game was 2-2, I believe that Chennai’s supporters felt that we could win the game. So if you tell me that we were lucky to score in the last minute, yes maybe, little bit of luck but, we fought to bring that luck.”
He also spoke about how such a fightback would help in the games ahead. “It's a kind of result which brings some morale and makes us stronger for the next two games that we have to play.
With this result, we are still alive and we can be optimistic. I believe the fourth team to qualify can be decided in Kerala. They are three points better than us, but I am optimistic”, Vingada added whose side are on 15 points with two more games to go, the last of which comes away at Kerala Blasters.
The Portuguese tactician also chose to praise the performance of young Fanai Lalrempuia who came into the side for the suspended Rowllin Borges, “Usually I don't talk about individual players because I talk about the team. He came to play for the first time and he was excellent and had a fantastic game. So congratulations to him and I'm sure he can be a great talent for Indian football”, Vingada had to say about the 20-year-old.
NorthEast United play the Delhi Dynamos at home on the 30th of November.
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