The Northeast based Indian Super League club Northeast United FC kept their hope of making to the semi- final of Hero Indian Super League 2016 alive with a win against the high-flying Delhi Dynamos FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Wednesday.
Nelo Vingada’s side Northeast United FC took the lead through their local boy Seityasen Singh on the hour mark before the Costa Rican midfielder Romaric doubled their lead 11 minutes later and the Delhi Dynamos star forward, also the current top scorer of the Hero Indian Super League this season Marcelinho pulled one back deep into stoppage-time but couldn’t prevent the Highlanders from picking up the most important three points.
Now the Highlanders need a must win on Sunday against the Kerala Blasters FC, to qualify and will be wary of the fact that the Blasters just need a draw to progress.
And the head coach of Northeast United FC, Nelo Vingada spoke of his delight at the attitude and performance of his players, especially in the second half.
As speaking to the media at the post-match press conference,
“We had a belief that we could get a point. The game between Kerala and Atlético de Kolkata finished in a draw, so we knew we also had to do the same, that a win or draw for us would mean the same. So, we did not start the game very well but the second half was much better for us. In the first half we were lucky as they missed a good chance and TP Rehenesh made a good save,”
“Emiliano Alfaro created good chances and if any team deserved to win, then our team was the correct winner and today I am not only happy with the win but I am also happy with the performance, attitude and the way we played, especially in the second half, and if we can play like the way we played today, like the way we played in Delhi and Chennai, then we can do well in Kochi and there will be fifty-sixty thousand people and I have been involved in games which have a large number of spectators, and so we are alive and are playing well, and now we will rest and enjoy this win, and then let’s see what happens in Kerala and I believe we can win for sure.”
The Portuguese man also praised the passionate supporters of Northeast United FC, who turned up in their thousands to help their team over the line on Wednesday.
“These fans who were here today were fantastic and the fans that came here today believe it is still possible for us to qualify and I feel we have won the respect of the other teams. All the games we have played, we have looked in the eyes of the opponent teams and given them some tough times. I think if qualification was made on performance, then we have already qualified but the qualification and championships are decided by points, so we need three points and it is the only way to reach the semi-finals and we will give it our best to win,” said Vingada.
“John Abraham [owner of NEUFC] also [deserves praise] but the players deserve more than the others as they train, they suffer and they try. We are a good family and I am very proud to be a part of this family and I will cherish these memories. Of course nobody is perfect and my players are also not perfect but my players work hard to be the best and now let’s see what happens and we respect them [Kerala], and it will be a hard game,” Vingada added.
The 26-year-old Nicolas Velez’s injury was only blemish on the night, who substituted in the 12th minute after picking up a hamstring.
And commenting on the availability of the Argentine star for their next match,
“We will have to see tomorrow. I think it cannot be a serious injury because in the beginning he felt some pain and we didn’t insist on him playing anymore. Suppose today was the last game, maybe he could continue. To prevent any serious injury we took him off. He has been an important player to us. Now when we have all the players available, the team has a good identity and can support any player that comes in. Even today Robert Cullen came on and we could still keep up the same level of performance. The second half was special, it was very good.” Vingada concluded.