Kolkata: It was a tale of two goalkeepers as NorthEast United registered their first win of the season with a thumping 2-0 victory over the Delhi Dynamos at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, on Saturday. While, TP Rehenesh came out as the hero, Delhi custodian Albino Gomes turned out to be the villain, gifting away a goal that led to a frustrating defeat in their first match at home. Brazilian Marcinho scored the first goal for the ‘Highlanders’ this season, while Danilo Lopes Cezario scored the second, all within the first 45 minutes.
The former Aizwal FC goalie was responsible for the second goal failing to clear a long ball, that fell to Danilo, who made no mistake to shake the empty net.
Coming on the back of heavy defeats in their previous match, both the sides aimed for a win but injuries separated the two. While NorthEast for the first time in the competition had a compete squad, Delhi as head coach Miguel Angel had stated were plagued by injuries ahead of the match.
Playing their first match infront of the home support, Delhi started the match convincingly keeping more of the ball, it was however the ‘Highlanders’ who nearly took the lead as early as the ninth minute, when a defensive lapse by Pratik Chowdhary gifted the ball to Danilo on the edge of the D, but the Brazilian shot wide, much to the relief of the home fans.
Not learning from their mistake Delhi conceded eight minutes later. Receiving the ball in the left flank Halicharan Narzary found an unmarked Marcinho inside the box who made no mistake slotting the cross home with a volley, to give NorthEast their first goal after a wait of 3 matches and 270 minutes.
Still to get over the howler, the Dynamos conceded another in the 22nd minute after a comedy of errors by custodian Albino Gomes. The former Mumbai City man failed to clear a back pass from Pratik, instead gifting the ball to a lurking Danilo, who seized the opportunity at full to give his side a two goal lead inside the first first-half.
The ‘Lions’ did have their chances to equalise twice in the first-half itself, but NorthEast custodian Rehenesh stood up to the task pulling out some wonderful saves, that began with an out of the line clearance of a Kalu Ulche shot, before parrying away the resulting corner.
Coach Portugal introduced Spaniard Edu Moya and Yong Indian sensation Lallianzuala Chhangte to garner more attacks, but Delhi despite keeping 65% possession in the entire match was able to master just five shots on target all of which failed to cross the ever reliable TP Rehenesh.
Tempers flew high in the final few minutes as the ‘Lions’ searched for the equaliser, but failed to find any, bringing an end to a rather frustrating night at home.