NorthEast United FC eying full points against Hyderabad
Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: NorthEast United FC will host Hyderabad FC in an ISL tie at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Thursday. The match will kick off at 7.30 in the evening.
It has been a season of woes for both Hyderabad and NorthEast and all that both sides have to play for is pride.
NorthEast, who are currently second from bottom with 13 points from 16 matches, can potentially leapfrog Jamshedpur FC and Kerala Blasters and finish as high as seventh if results go their way. However, it does not take away the fact that it has been a disappointing campaign for the Highlanders.
Injuries to key players have not helped matters for NorthEast. Asamoah Gyan’s injury was a huge blow to their forward line and goals dried up after that. Irish striker Andy Keogh, who came in as a replacement, hasn’t had enough time to come good.
In what is their penultimate game of the season, interim coach Khalid Jamil has more concerns. Jose Leudo, Wayne Vaz and Redeem Tlang are all suspended while Komorski, Nikhil Kadam and Provat Lakra are injured.
Addressing a pre-match press conference here today Jamil said, “We are not thinking about Hyderabad FC. This is our penultimate home game. We will be going for three points. We cannot do much about the players who are suspended. It is beyond our control.”
The Highlanders last won a game about 12 matches back, incidentally against Hyderabad. They will hope Federico Gallego and company can break their winless run against the bottom-placed side.
Hyderabad have notched just seven points from 17 matches. Apart from finishing their final match of the season with a victory, interim coach Javier Lopez and team will be hoping to avoid registering the worst ever points tally in an ISL season.
“This has not been the best of seasons. The situation of the players was not the best when I arrived, but they are motivated to compete. We have been competitive, we got a draw against Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC. The only game where we didn’t compete was against Goa. The next game is the last match of this season. Everyone is excited to finish with the three points,” said Lopez.
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