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ISL 2018/19, NorthEast United FC 1-0 Chennaiyin FC: 5 Hits and Flops

Ogbeche's goal in the dying moments proved to be the difference between the two sides (Image Courtesy: ISL)
Ogbeche's goal in the dying moments proved to be the difference between the two sides (Image Courtesy: ISL)

The last time when Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC played each other in the Indian Super League, the game was full of goals.

But, this time the tie was decided by very thin margins as the home side secured yet another three points to close down the point to the second-placed Mumbai City FC.

It was a fair contest first half, but Eelco Schallorie's men looked very lively to score because they were able to create chances for fun.

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Some of the refereeing decision including the foul on Federico Gallego inside the penalty box and Raphael Augusto hitting the floor after Rowling Borges's foul were turned down instantly by the referee who did not have a good game, to say the least.

Moments before the half-time midfielder Rowlin Borges had an excellent chance to take the lead, but he failed to make any sort of connection with the ball which flew past all players.

NorthEast United FC kept on piling pressure on the reigning champions who were able to keep up their shape and defend somehow.

Anyway, their resistance was finally broken when the in-form striker Bartholomew Ogbeche took one shot from thirty yards out which gave the goalkeeper Karanjit Singh no chance to save it.

Eelco Schallorie will be thoroughly happy with the performance, but he would be concerned about the finishing. On the other hand, John Gregory's side did nothing to gain anything out of this game.

In this article, we shall look at five hits and flops from this game.


#1 Hit - Bartholomew Ogbeche

Bartholomew Ogbeche started along with Federico Gallego in the frontline in this game. The duo had a brilliant understanding and kept on tormenting defenders throughout this tie in what proved to be a nail-biting contest.

The Nigerian International has been in sumptuous form and carried the same into this game when they were unlucky not to get past on several occasions having had so many chances.

He took a total of seven shots in the game but scored from the most difficult one by smashing the back of the net from thirty yards out to secure a late winner for the hosts.

With this fantastic strike from long range, he enters into the double figures in terms of goals from just 13 games.

It has truly been a phenomenal start for the Nigerian and he would be hoping for the same kind of numbers in the forthcoming games.

#2 Flop - Gregory Nelson

Nothing has worked out for Gregory Nelson this season (Image Courtesy: ISL)
Nothing has worked out for Gregory Nelson this season (Image Courtesy: ISL)

Chennaiyin FC forward Gregory Nelson had a brilliant season last time around, but nothing has worked out for the Dutch International this term. Out of the 14 games, the Marina Machans have played this campaign, Nelson has started in just five games which are staggeringly low.

Unlike his usual position, the 30-year-old operated through the right flank. But, he did not look effective with the ball and gave cheap possessions more often than not.

Robert Lalthlamuana totally nullified Gregory Nelson and did not give any chance of linking up with the striker CK Vineeth.

He is known for his breakneck pace and dribbling ability, but he showcased none of it against NorthEast United where he put up a woeful performance.

He did a good job by tracking back and helping out his defenders, but he his offensive part of the game was not good enough and his creative part of the game was also poor.

#3 Hit - Eli Sabia

The Brazilian was guiding the entire inexperienced backline in the absence of the Skipper Mailson Alves and did an excellent job individually (Image Courtesy: ISL)
The Brazilian was guiding the entire inexperienced backline in the absence of the Skipper Mailson Alves and did an excellent job individually (Image Courtesy: ISL)

If John Gregory is looking out for a positive out of this game, he would perhaps look at some of the defending done by the centre-back Eli Sabia in this game.

The Brazilian was guiding the entire inexperienced backline in the absence of the Skipper Mailson Alves and did an excellent job individually.

During the first half, Chennaiyin had control for the first fifty minutes. But, Northeast started to grow into the game slowly and cause constant trouble to lead the game.

But, Eli Sabia stuck to the task by making the best out of Federico Gallego and Bartholomew Ogbeche.

His timely interventions and the ability to win headers were key for the Blues in keeping their clean sheet intact until the 87th minute of the game.

There were many instances where he did excellently to protect his team. Despite ending in the losing side, Eli Sabia was surely one of the best players on the pitch.

#4 Flop - Laldinliana Renthlei

Ladinliana Renthlei did not really apply himself well and was caught on the break more often than not (Image Courtesy: ISL)
Ladinliana Renthlei did not really apply himself well and was caught on the break more often than not (Image Courtesy: ISL)

John Gregory was forced to go with the young full-back Laldinliana Renthlei with Inigo Calderon not being named in the squad sheet.

It was always going to defend against NorthEast United FC who has one of the strongest midfield and strike force in the Indian Super League.

Ladinliana Renthlei did not really apply himself well and was caught on the break more often than not.

The Indian International also did not have any sort of contributions towards the attacking part of the game rather than getting stagnated in the middle of the park.

It was a rather inexperienced setup through the right with Zohmingliana Ralte operating as a right centre-back.

Federico Galledo and the attacking midfielder Lalthathanga Khawlhring combined really well and produced some crosses which were eventually cut down by Eli Sabia who was ever present in the Chennaiyin defence in this game.

#5 Hit - Federico Gallego

Federico Gallego and Bartholomew Ogbeche have started to linkup madly (Image courtesy: ISL)
Federico Gallego and Bartholomew Ogbeche have started to linkup madly (Image courtesy: ISL)

Federico Gallego and Bartholomew Ogbeche have started to linkup madly. They had a great understanding as one would drop down to collect the ball from the midfield and another striker would be waiting to run behind the defenders.

The two strikers combined brilliantly to cause demolition at the back for the reigning Champions.

The Uruguyuan came closest to opening the scoreline in the game when his valiant effort was cleared off the line by Renthlei in the second half.

During the first half of the game, a blatant foul on Gallego inside the penalty box was turned down by the referee.

The contest continued as the striker partners tested the Marina Machans defence throughout the game.

Eventually. Gallego was substituted on 75th minute by the debutant Panagiotis Triadis. Twelve minutes on, Ogbeche scored a thirty-yard screamer to register their sixth victory of the campaign.


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Edited by Alan John
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