NorthEast United registered their third win of the third season of the Hero Indian Super League, courtesy a lone goal by Uruguay forward Emiliano Alfaro. In a high voltage game at the Balewadi Stadium, Pune, coach Nelo Vingada scripted one more for the books by ensuring the Highlander's first ever victory against Pune in an away game.
As for the home side, they could not carry forward their winning momentum from Goa as Habas, who has lost all games he has ever played against NorthEast, lost yet another with his new team. Here are the five talking points of the team.
#1 Tactical Games: Habas vs Vingada
Antonio Lopez Habas and Nelo Vingada had similar thoughts in mind as both teams started with a 3-5-2 formation. The marquee players of both the teams, Mohamed Sissoko and Didier Zokora, have strong midfield presence and both coaches used them to strengthen their grip on the game.
Without repeating the last match’s mistakes, the visitors replaced Reagan Singh – who was sloppy against Mumbai and gave away the penalty – with Nirmal Chettri and relied yet again on counters to build their game.
Pune, on the other hand, had a very different backline compared to their last game. They dropped Rahul Bheke and Yumnam Raju and brought in Dharmaraj Ravanan.
With a changed formation, Pune started the game strongly while it took NorthEast some time to heat up their engine.