NorthEast United returned to winning ways against FC Pune City in a feisty encounter between the two teams which ended with both the teams being a man down after 90 minutes. The John Abraham co-owned side emerged 1-0 winners thanks to the 79th winner from Emiliano Alfaro who is now the top scorer of ISL 3 with three goals.
This victory takes NorthEast to the top of the table and Nelo Vinguda will be delighted with the way his side bounced back from the loss to Mumbai City last time around.
Vinguda was in as buoyant a mood as ever as he spoke about a host of topics in his post-match press conference. He said, "We truly played like champions today and the team showed great character to fight with ten men and I am really proud of my team. I and my team are a family and that camaraderie is reflecting in our performances on the pitch as we made life difficult for Pune."
The Portuguese also spoke about his team being the best on the night. North East created more clear cut chances compared to the home side despite being a man down for a majority of the game. Vinguda was pleased with his team's work ethics and commended his team on maintaining great organisation. He also stressed on the fact that his team deserved the victory and were worthy of all three points.
When asked about the lively game that was on display in Pune, he said, "Today we missed 2-3 chances as we could have won with a higher scoreline but credit to their goalkeeper who was tremendous."
On the two red cards which were the talking points in the game, the Portuguese continued, "I couldn't see both the sending offs as I was very far from the action. My first reaction to Chhetri's red card was that it was a yellow card but the life of referees is difficult as everyone is allowed to make some mistakes."
NorthEast made three changes to their starting lineup with Nirmal Chhetri, Shouvik Ghosh and Halicharan Narzary replacing Robin Gurung, Reagan Singh and Seityasen Singh from the defeat to Mumbai City FC. The visitors employed a 4-2-3-1 formation with goalscorer, Alfaro being the solo striker.
NorthEast will now face the Delhi Dynamos on Saturday in what will be their fifth game in two weeks.
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