Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: A goal in the 88th minutes from Jose Leudo helped NorthEast United FC to hold Jamshedpur FC 3-3 and collect one point from the ISL tie at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here today.
A lot of drama was left for the last part of the game which witnessed four goals scored, two each by either side.
The home team took just five minutes to go ahead in the game through Gallego. David Grande scored the equalizer for Jamshedpur just before the final whistle to end the first half. Redeem put the local team ahead once again in the 77th minute but two goals from Acosta (82) and Memo (85) almost sealed the fate of the game for the visitors. However, Leudo ensured one point for NEUFC when he scored the equalizer in the 88th minute.
It was the second consecutive occasion when the turnout for the ISL game in Guwahati was very poor. NorthEast failed to score in their last five games but today made a very positive start. The match was just five minutes old when Ninthoinganba Meetei split the Jamshedpur defence with a good through-ball for Andrew Keogh whose shot was kept out by goalkeeper Rafique Ali. The rebound fell into the path of Gallego who placed the ball into the net.
The visitors came back into the game just before the break. Aniket won a header in the air and flicked the ball into the path of Amarjit Singh who delivered an accurate cross into the box from the right flank. Grande rose the highest at the far post and found the back of the net with a good header. NorthEast for the second time in the game took the lead in the 77th minute. Chaves ran down the left flank and outfoxed Memo. The substitute crossed towards the far post where Sandeep Mandi’s poor defensive header allowed Redeem to hit a nice volley into the net. The joy in NEUFC was short-lived as the visitors scored the equalizer in the 82nd minute. Acosta redeemed himself after receiving the ball outside the box and unleashed a brilliant curling strike that flew past the extended gloves of Subhasish and into the net.
The NorthEast defence lacked the composure to see off the game and lost their cool in the final ten minutes. Jamshedpur pressed hard and claimed the lead from a free-kick. Memo stepped up and struck a powerful effort into the net.
Jamshedpur, however, were dealt a blow when Farukh was punished with a second yellow card for his reaction to a bad tackle. A minute after the sending off, NorthEast equalized. Memo failed to clear a routine delivery into the box and Leudo pounced with a powerful hit that bulged the net and made it 3-3, capping an exciting game.
After this game, NEUFC still remained in the ninth place in the points table with 13 points from 15 matches. Jamshedpur FC are at seventh place with 17 points from 16 games.