Chennaiyin FC were desperate to register their first win of this campaign, but they were told to wait by Eelco Schattorie's NorthEast United after they edged the reigning champions 4-3 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
The hosts opened the scoring when Rowllin Borges headed into his own net from a corner kick. Thoi Singh doubled the lead on a couple of occasions on 15th and 32nd minute. But, the Highlanders' skipper Bartholomew Ogbeche looked impossible to handle with his deadly finishing and the striker bagged a hat-trick to claim the match ball. The scoreline was even-steven when the players headed into the dressing room during halftime.
10 minutes into the second half, Borges slotted one past the helpless Karanjit Singh to reinstate the lead. This goal was enough for the away side to bag their second win on road this season.
Here are the major talking points from the game.
#1 Bartholomew Ogbeche's deadly finishing
Former Paris Saint-Germain graduate Bartholomew Ogbeche had a great reputation when he first landed at the Guwahati-based franchise. The Nigerian striker has finally proved his value with an inspirational performance by netting a hat-trick against the reigning champions Chennaiyin FC which was enough for the Highlanders to secure three points at away turf. With this hat-trick, he has taken his tally to 4 for this season.
The hosts looked like they were running away with the game after restoring the two-goal lead through Thoi Singh, but the shambolic defensive display from the blues defenders was exploited by Ogbeche. The Nigerian was constantly running behind Mailson Alves and Eli Sabia to cause perpetual havoc and did not give a breather to the defenders as they could not find their feet against Ogbeche throughout the game.
NorthEast United manager Eelco Schattorie expressed his delight and appreciated the effort of Ogbeche after the game. Rightfully, he was awarded the Hero Player of the Match and Swift Limitless Player of the Match for putting in an exceptional show which the Highlanders would remember for years to come.