Late penalty secures gritty NorthEast victory over Hyderabad
Hyderabad: A late second-half penalty was enough to give visitors NorthEast United FC all three points against Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League match at the G. M. C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium here on Wednesday.
The result catapulted NorthEast to the top of the table with eight points from four games while Hyderabad has only three points from as many games.
After a solid defensive display in the first half, NorthEast came out with a more aggressive approach in the second half. Their 4-2-3-1 formation lead by Asamoah Gyan looked more threatening after the break.
However, Hyderabad goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh remained unbeaten even when his team playing a 3-4-3 was cut open at times. Both teams looked solid defensively by lacked the cutting edge, especially in front of the goal.
Asamoah Gyan sustained a groin injury in the 51st minute and was replaced by Panagiotis Triadis. It was the third substitution for the Highlanders and their attack missed the Ghanaian’s ability.
It looked like the game was destined for a draw but then came the turning point in the 84th minute.
Jose Leudo received the ball on the edge of the box after a poor clearance by Hyderabad. Leudo took a shot and Shankar Sampingraj bent down to head it away. However, but the ball hit the Centre back’s arm and the referee pointed to the spot.
Substitute Maximiliano Barreiro turned up to take the penalty. Barreiro calmly drilled the ball low to the right of Hyderabad keeper Kamaljit Singh, who dove to the other side.
With just minutes for the final whistle, the home side tried desperately for an equaliser but it never came.
Goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh even got into the box to try and score one for his team. However, Marko Stankovic’s whipped cross went past him and was subsequently blocked by the NorthEast defenders.
Heerings Kai got the ball and drove forward only for Kamaljit Singh to pull him down. The keeper was shown a yellow card for his troubles. NorthEast held on for valuable three points.