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NorthEast United FC’s Play-Offs Berth Put On Hold By Pune

NorthEast United FC’s Play-Offs Berth Put On Hold By Pune

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 Feb 2019 9:12 AM GMT

Our Sports Reporter

GUWAHATI: NorthEast United FC will have to wait till the conclusion of their league engagements to know if they have qualified for the Hero Indian Super League play-offs this time.

The side today finished their 17th round match, held at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, with a 1-1 draw against FC Pune City. However, the result was not enough, as the Highlanders needed a win today to seal a place in the play-offs.

Rowllin Borges’ 47th-minute strike looked good for the NE outfit. But Pune responded well and equalized though Adil Khan who slammed home a volley in the 69th minute before NorthEast were reduced to 10-men after Jose Leudo was sent off for violent conduct.

The result sees Pune’s mathematical chances of reaching the play-offs snuffed out while NorthEast, placed third with 28 points, will have to win the concluding league clash against Kerala Blasters.

NorthEast United dominated possession in the early stages but it was Pune who got the first shot on target. NorthEast goalkeeper Pawan Kumar was forced to keep out Jonathan Vila’s strike in the 13th minute.

The Highlanders raised the tempo as the clock ticked on and broke the deadlock soon after the break. In the 47th minute, Khawlhring fired the ball into the feet of Bartholomew Ogbeche who laid it off for Borges inside the box. Pune custodian Kamaljit Singh came off his line to collect the ball but palmed it back into the path of Borges who slotted the ball into an empty net.

Pune rallied after that goal and used the wide areas to good effect as they put pressure in the attacking third to find a way back into the game. Ashique Kuruniyan delivered an excellent cross from the left wing to find Adil unmarked inside the box. The midfielder smashed a cracking volley into the net, pulling his side level in the 69th minute.

A red card to Leudo late in the game made matters worse for NorthEast United who struggled to have an impact on the game as the second half wore on. The midfielder caught Carlos with his elbow in the 89th minute and was shown a straight red. However, Schattorie’s side held on to end Pune’s hopes, while leaving themselves with plenty to do in the concluding clash.


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