Hyderabad is back in the playoff race after an important victory against NorthEast United…
When Hyderabad faced NorthEast United in the 51st game of the Indian Super League (ISL) season seven, the teams knew the three points were going to matter as it would put them back in the top four. Only a point separated the two teams before the game and NorthEast United were winless for five matches.
Hyderabad won the game 4-2 at the end and there was a lot of drama at the end of each half. There were also several star artists for the winning team, but two names stand out – Liston Colaco and Joel Chianese.
Colaco appeared in a total of five ISL matches for FC Goa and realized he had to move on to get minutes and finally get the attention his talent deserves in his new club in the current 2020-2021 season. He was one of two players who made the difference for Hyderabad against their opponents in a game that seemed to be evenly contested for most games.
It took Hyderabad three minutes to break the deadlock when Joel Chianese decided to launch a run into the box from the right flank. He managed to keep the ball despite multiple incoming challenges from defenders and delivered it to Aridane Santana who found the net with aplomb.
Hyderabad were the most confident team at the start and that could well have been due to the 4-1 victory in their last game against Chennaiyin. The Nizams were more eager to win the ball high up the field, which Akash Mishra did to score the second goal. The full-back took the ball from Benjamin Lambot on the left flank and found Joel inside the box who buckled an effort off the post.
After the game Hyderabad boss Manuel Marquez said he was happy with the performance of this team throughout the game except for the last 10 minutes of the first half. And that’s when NorthEast United seemed to agree.
The Highlanders, incredibly enough, have scored twice in two minutes. Halicharan Narzary, who was fantastic against Chennaiyin and scored a brace, knocked Ashutosh Mehta into the box and gave a penalty which Federico Gallego converted.
For the second, there was chaos in the box when Mehta hit Lalrempuia’s center post from the right flank. The ball fell on Gallego then Sylla who failed to beat the keeper before Lambot hit from close range. The two conceded goals could have been easily avoided if the defense had been a little more alert.
An energetic Liston Colaco replaced Mohammed Yasir and started charging into a tired northeast defense in the 64th minute. And the move turned out to be a masterstroke.
Colaco used his brilliant footwork to dribble past Roccharzela, Gurjinder Kumar and Khassa Camara after cutting from the right flank to curl the ball into the top left corner of the net. It was a goal of pure individual brilliance.
Santana, who served as a good focal point for Hyderabad’s attack, brilliantly sent a long ball into Colaco’s path in the last minute of extra time and the Goan forward beat the keeper with a neat finish for ensure victory for his team.
Although Chianese impressed at first, it was Colaco who lowered the curtains of the game in style. Mehta, who was impressive from the right-back, was one of the only bright spots in this NorthEast lineup.
Hyderabad’s impressive outings with many talented Indians on the squad continue as NorthEast United fall further into a winless abyss that could make or break their season.