NorthEast United FC fell to a 2-4 defeat to Hyderabad FC in match number 51 of the Indian Super League 2020-21 season.
NorthEast United FC came into the game without having won any of their last five matches. Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, were high on confidence having won their last match after losing three in a row.
The match started with a bang as Hyderabad took the lead in the third minute through Aridane Santana. Joel Chianese then scored in 36th minute to double Hyderabad's lead.
NorthEast United had two minutes of glory at the end of the first half when they scored twice to level the scoreline going into the half time.
The second half saw both the teams go head to head in the initial minutes. The game turned in favour of Hyderabad FC with the introduction of Liston Colaco. The Goan scored twice in the latter stages of the second half to give Hyderabad three points from a crucial tie. Let us take a look at four things we learnt from Friday's game.
#4 Hyderabad FC score twice in the first half
Hyderabad FC had managed to score just once in the first half before Friday's encounter. But against NorthEast United FC, Hyderabad FC scored twice in the first half, proving it's not just in the second half that they score.
Aridane opened the scoring in the third minute when he finished off a Chianese pass, who then turned scorer in the 36th minute to make it two-nil for the Nizams.
#3 Question marks over both NorthEast United goals
NorthEast United FC scored their first goal in the 45th minute through a Federico Gallego penalty. Doubts still remain whether it was a legitimate penalty as the initial contact and foul by Halicharan Narzary on Ashutosh Mehta was outside the box.
The right-back, however, fell inside the box, and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.
Belgian defender Benjamin Lambot scored the second goal for NorthEast United. In the build up leading to the goal, it seemed Federico Gallego was in an offside position, and he was the first to get a touch on the ball after the rebound.
With doubts over both of NorthEast United FC's goals, questions remain over the standard of refereeing in the Indian Super League.
#2 Gerard Nus's chopping hamper NorthEast United FC
Gerard Nus has changed his playing XI for every game this season. No same set of eleven players have played two games in a row. The continuous chopping and changing has led to the team losing out on momentum and stability.
Another point of debate has been Nus's substitution calls at crucial moments.
Against Hyderabad, Nus decided to substitute Machado, who was probably the best player for the Highlanders. He was creating chances and also registering shots on target. NorthEast United managed just one shot after Machado was taken off.
#1 Liston Colaco steals the show
The former Salgaocar academy starlet has been a hot prospect in the Indian football scenario for a few years now. But it is in the ongoing season that he is showcasing his talent to the full with Hyderabad FC. He has been instrumental in the previous games as well and helped Hyderabad secure crucial points early on in the season.
Today the young midfielder came on as a second-half substitute and changed the game on its head.
When Liston came on the game was tied at 2-2. He proceeded to score the first goal in the 85th minute, wriggling past a couple of NorthEast United defenders before curling the ball into the back of the net. Liston then got his second of the game in added time to secure the three points for Hyderabad FC.Published 09 Jan 2021, 12:20 IST