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NEUFC keeps playoff hopes alive

NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) improved their chances of qualifying for the playoffs by defeating 10-man SC East Bengal in an Indian Super League 19th round match at Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday.

After a sterile opening period, VP Suhair put NorthEast in front with his first ISL goal. East Bengal defender Sarthak Golui scored an own goal to double NEUFC’s lead, but then scored to pull one out for his side.

The opening half was a bit disappointing for NEUFC as it failed to make a big impression in the opponent’s box. East Bengal, already out of the competition for the title, have lined up a team with a number of players on the bench.

NEUFC were a changed team after the break and they started backing up the East Bengal defense with more goal.

Nice finish

He found the lead in the 48th minute when half-wing Imran Khan played a nice pass to find Suhair in the box.

The forward produced a nice finish protecting his marker, took a U-turn and sent an angular left foot into the East Bengal net.

Once the stalemate was broken, NEUFC’s lead was doubled in the 55th minute when Nim Dorjee cross over the East Bengal goal-mouth to see Golui miss a clearing attempt into his own goal.

East Bengal suffered another heavy blow in the 71st minute when defender Raju Gaekwad was sent off for his second booking of the game.

Golui redeemed his mistake in the 87th minute, approving a free kick from Surchandra Singh, but his effort came a bit too late.

The result:

SC East Bengal 1 (Sarthak Golui 87) lost to NEUFC 2 (VP Suhair 48, Sarthak Golui 55-og).

Wednesday’s game: Odisha FC – Mumbai City FC, 7:30 p.m..

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