#2 Rafael Crivellaro makes the difference - tactically
Starting in a free role behind Valskis, it was the Brazilian who caused NorthEast the most problems. Tactically, Owen Coyle got it spot on, as Chennaiyin ran the Highlanders ragged for most of the game.
The strategy looked simple enough, but it was Chennaiyin and Crivellaro's ability to mix it up that caused NorthEast all sorts of trouble. From the off, it was clear that Coyle wanted his Brazilian no.10 to double up on the flank where possession was, with Chhangte and Andre Schembri always having an option close to them, in Crivellaro.
That overload caused NorthEast plenty of early headaches, but they seemed to get a grip of things after the first 20 minutes, but that grip was to be short-lived.
With NorthEast overloading the flanks defensively after that, Crivellaro looked to stay more central, and his passing ability was unpicking several locks in the NorthEast rearguard, and bringing all the other Chennaiyin attackers into play.
It was just reward for the Brazilian that it was he who broke the deadlock, with a sensational goal from just inside the opposition half, after he caught Subhasish off his line.