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TLang 20′         Xisco 82′

Mascia 90+5′          




Well, what a way to start the Indian Super League playoffs! NorthEast United are deserving winners after fighting hard and pegging for the winner, even after losing their two top players in Bartholomew Ogbeche and Rowllin Borges. The Blues came back to find the equalizer in the second half through Xisco’s clever goal, but a stupid foul by Khabra allowed the hosts to get a last-minute penalty and end the game perfectly. This is the first time NorthEast United have defeated Bengaluru FC in the ISL and what a way to do it! Bengaluru still have a chance, with the second half being at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, but will need to be much better to oust this determined unit. This is Uttiyo Sarkar, signing out for Khel Now. Goodnight, Ladies and Gentlemen!

90+5 MASCIA SCORES! He shows nerves of steel in stepping up and powerfully blasting past Gurpreet. 2-1! WHAT A FINISH! 

90+3′ PENALTY FOR NORTHEAST!! Mascia player is brought down just in front of Santosh Kumar and the referee points to the spot. Khabra is also booked. 

90+2′ Sunil Chhetri brings down Reagan with a bad foul on the right side. Can NorthEast nick it?

90′ Xisco is repriminded for a cynical foul on Leudo just inside their half. Meanwhile, three minutes of added time is announced. 

89′ Bengaluru FC have slowed down the tempo of the game exponentially and are looking to run down the clock. They’ll happy take a draw to Bengaluru, especially after getting the precious away goal.

87′ It seems like Nishu Kumar had fouled Mascia leading up to the goal. Even lady luck isn’t working for the hosts today. They look absolutely exhausted to go forward right now. Can they pull off a winner? Let us know in the comments. 

84′ You have to feel for the hosts. They’ve done an admirable job in keeping Bengaluru FC quiet, but one lapse in concentration allows them to come back. NorthEast are now looking for a dramatic winner, but will be difficult to get it with all the injuries hampering their momentum. 

82′ GOOALLL! BENGALURU GET THEIR AWAY GOAL! Miku does really well to hold the ball and set Chhetri free through the left side. The Bengaluru captain takes his time before finding a rushing Xisco, who flicks it home to equalize the contest. 1-1!

81′ Many Bengaluru FC subsitutes are warming up in the sidelines. Who can Carles Cuadrat turn to give him the crucial away goal which the Blues are looking for?

79′ The hosts are just over 10 minutes away from recording their first-ever win over Bengaluru FC. Will they be able to hold on? Can they score more? Give your thoughts in the comments. 

76′ Bengaluru FC try another bizarre free-kick routine as Dimas flicks a ball onto Chhetri in the box, who tries to flick it for someone else but the ball is cleared off.  The Highlanders try to move forward in a pack, but end up giving the ball away. 

73′ NorthEast United have scored 8 goals after the 75th minute mark, while Bengaluru have scored 7. There are definitely goals left in this game! Meanwhile, the hosts make their final substitution as goalscorer Redeem TLang is replaced with Keegan Perreira.  

70′ MASCIA ALMOST! The forward makes a great run towards the box and is found out with a delightful chip from Gallego. However, he is being held back by Nishu and his shot is too weak to beat Gurpreet. That should’ve been a penalty for the hosts!

69′ Another interesting coner is taken by Dimas after Robert needlessly cleared if off for one. He plays it down the middle, but Kumar does really well to cling onto it. 

66′ Miku goes all the way! The forward gain possession on the right-flank and comes all the way through to the box, before his attempt is cleared for a corner. The corner comes down to Xisco to the edge of the area, but his shot is sent off for another corner. 

65′ Another great move from Bengaluru FC! A sweet ball is played forward to Udanta Singh, who drives it back to Delgado, who is met with a brilliant recovery tackle from Puitea to stop him from taking a shot on goal. 

63′ So Bengaluru FC have made a few tweaks to their personnel. Bheke has moved into a more central role, with Harmanjot Khabra moving to the right-back, allowing Xisco to play in the middle. 

61′ Redeem TLang goes into the book for intentionally bringing down Xisco in the middle. 

60′ An interesting substitution from Bengaluru FC, who take off Albert Serran and bring on Xisco Hernandez

59′ OOF! A nice diagonal long ball is played from Rahul Bheke to Chhetri, who goes past Regan, but the right-back does really well to take the ball off him and let Pawan collect it. Sunil tries to demand for a backpass, but Santosh Kumar is having none of it. 

57′ Good chance from Bengaluru FC. Udanta does well to trick Robert, going past him with the ball before seeking a nice pass to Miku. The Spaniard receives it well, but his shot is a poor one, going off for a NorthEast ball. 

55′ OOF! A mistake from Bheke allows Kadam to rob him off the ball and go off on a counter-attack. HE plays a great pass to Mascia forward and the striker tries to go surging on goal, but Serran’s timely block stops that. Vital challenge!

53′ Now Miku is down clutching his ankle after being in a nasty altercation with Leudo. Meanwhile, NorthEast create a decent chance when Kadam’s cross isn’t cleared, allowing Redeem to receive possession and try a shot, but the youngster ends up fluffing it to the fans despair. 

51′ The Highlanders are looking to slow things down a bit after a fiery start from Bengaluru FC. They’re still blending into their new shape and moving the ball around between each other. 

48′ Nervy moment for Kumar. A cross is sent from the right-flank which should’ve easily been collected by the keeper, but he spills in and almost allows Chhetri to capitalize before holding onto the ball for his dear life. 

47′ It seems like Kadam has gone to the left-wing, with Puitea moving to the middle and playing in Rowllin’s role. 

46′ AND the second half kicks-off! This time, it’s NorthEast who will be attacking from the left to right. 

8:34 PM: Another blow for NorthEast United as Rowlin Borges has to be substituted after suffering an injury. . He’s been replaced by Nikhil Kadam in the second half!

HALF-TIME ANALYSIS: A half which has been dominated by NorthEast United, it ended sourly for the hosts as captain Bartholomew Ogbeche had to go off. He played a part in NorthEast’s opener, playing a great ball for Redeem TLang to produce a moment of brilliant for his first-ever ISL goal. Bengaluru FC haven’t really gotten off to their typical rhythm and are struggling to move forward with incisiveness. The hosts are one step into winning their first ever ISL playoffs game, while Bengaluru FC will look to turn things around after the break. We’ll be back with 2nd half action soon. Stay tuned, Ladies and Gentlemen!

45+2 Disaster for the Highlanders! Ogbeche has to go off, giving the captain’s armband to Robert before being replaced by Juan Mascia

45′ Big concern for NorthEast United as captain Ogbeche is down on the ground after seemingly pulling up his hamstring. Not a good sign for the Highlanders! Meanwhile, two minutes of added time is announced. 

43′ Bengaluru FC have brought some urgency to their game in the last few minutes. They aiming to move forward as a unit and playing more aggressive than ever. Will they be able to get the equalizer before the break?

41′ Miku gets booked for a cynical challenge on Leudo to become the first player to go into the books today. 

38′ MIKU ALMOST! An interesting corner is taken by Bengaluru FC, as the ball is floated into the far-post to Miku. He receives it well before taking a left-footed volley which skies way over the post. 

35′ Redeem tries a bit of trickery against Nishu Kumar down the flank. He does a bit of showboating before trying to go past Kumar, but Sunil Chhetri comes back to fulfil his defensive duties and recover the bar for his side. 

32′ CLOSE! Gallego plays a really good ball down to the left-flank to Robert. The left-back finds him back just outside the box, as Gallego makes a fake before attempting a shot which whizzes just wide of the target. 

31′ Robert Lalthlamuana goes down screaming in agony after getting into a challenge with Miku. Thankfully, he hasn’t done any permanent damage to his ankle and is able to get up and running soon. 

28′ Ogbeche comes alive in the final third. A brilliant pass sends him through the right-side, but Serran does well to cover up and stop him from taking a shot. The ball later falls to Redeem, who tries sending in a cross which is cleared off. 

27′ Bengaluru FC need to come up with an answer quickly. The Highlanders are not looking to sit back and aiming to double their lead by persisting targetting the right-flank. 

24′ OOOF! Fantastic save by Pawan Kumar. Bengaluru test the goalkeeper for the first time this evening, as the ball scrambles onto Dimas Delgado outside the box. The Spaniard hits a powerful left-footed shot which is initially scrambled by Pawan, but he gets to it before Miku can pounce. 

23′ Well NorthEast United were looking to penetrate through the right-wing and incidentally, the goal comes from that side! TLang did really well to go past Nishu and hit a sweet strike, which even Gurpreet didn’t comprehend. They’ve never lost after taking the lead this season. Will Bengaluru FC be able to change that? 

20′ GOOALLL! REDEEM WITH A SCREAMER! It’s his first ISL goal and what a way to do it! Bartholomew Ogbeche does well to find him free on the right side and TLang comes into the box, takes the ball into his left feet and lets it rip to beautifully curl the ball into the back of the net. 1-0!

19′ NorthEast United have also changed up their tactics a little bit for this game. Rowllin Borges is sticking more towards the right-wing and almost playing as an auxilery winger rather than sticking central. They look determined to move from that flank! 

16′ The Highlanders have enjoyed 63% possession so far! That’s how dominant they’ve been in the early minutes. Meanwhile, Bengaluru are trying to reduce that by retaining possession and building towards an opener. 

14′ Udanta Singh tries for a header and lands hard on his ankle, making him go down. What looked like a nightmare moment for Bengaluru is dispersed after the Flash comes back up. 

12′ OOF! The first real chance of the day goes to northEast United. The Highlanders pass the ball around in the final third well, before Federico Gallego plays in a cross which almost reaches Redeem TLang before being cleared out for a corner. 

10′ The Highlanders have seemingly targetted young Nishu Kumar and are moving through that flank. They play a set of decent passes through it, but Reagan Singh’s cross is eventually headed clear by Serran. 

8′ It’s almost been all NorthEast United so far. They’ve dominated possession and pressed Bengaluru into relinquishing it whenever they got it. Meanwhile, Leudo tries an ambitious shot from far which goes flying over. 

5′ A close shave for Bengaluru FC. Albert Serran is pressed quickly by Federico Gallego, who manages to flick the ball right up in the air. Gurpreet comes out, but his punch isn’t convincing and almost falls to Puitea’s path, only to get cleared before he could latch onto it. 

3′ NorthEast United have started the game very brightly. They lodge a move through the wings, as Jose Leudo comes forward to play in a cross from the right, which is fumbled by Gurpreet but eventually held onto. 

1′ AND WE KICKOFF! The ISL Playoffs are underway, with Bengaluru starting the game moving from left to right. 

7:28 PM- Guwahati is absolutely roaring right now! The NorthEast United fans are making their voices heard, chanting loudly after the players come on. Things will be nervy for Bengaluru, while NorthEast look to continue their fairytale season. Who will come out on top? Give your predictions in the comments!

7:25 PM- The players are making their way out to the stadium! The national anthem will now be followed by the pre-match traditions. Kick-off is a few minutes away. Stay tuned, folks!

7:20 PM- There are some new-comers to the ISL in this game for both sides. Alejandro Barrera makes his ISL debut for Bengaluru FC, while defender Janeiler Rivas starts only his second game for NorthEast United. Both will be key towards maintaining a stronghold in the game, as any one of them crumbling could work into the other side’s advantage. 

7:15 PM- Interestingly, NorthEast United haven’t really had the most prolific times at home against Bengaluru FC in the past. The Blues are unbeaten at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, having won and drawn one in two visits. The Highlanders will hope to break that jinx today, as a win is necessary to keep up their dreams of progressing into the final. 

7:10 PM- Both teams have opted to go with their preferred 4-2-3-1 formation and also with their best XI possible. Bengaluru FC were able to rest the likes of Miku, Chhetri and Udanta in their final league game against Jamshedpur FC, while Ogbeche also comes in for NorthEast United after getting a breather. A match pitting two of ISL’s best attacks against each other, this seems poised to be a thriller. 

7:05 PM- Here are the starting line-ups for the game!

NorthEast United FC: Pawan(GK), Reagon, Rivas, Grgic, Robert, Leudo, Rowllin, Tlang, Gallego, Khawhlring, Ogbeche(C).

Subs: Gurmeet, Keegan, Souvik, Fanai, Kadam, Triadis, Mascia. 

Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet(GK), Bheke, Juanan, Serran, Nishu, Khabra, Barrera, Udanta, Dimas, Chhetri(C), Miku 

Subs: Porei, Anto, Haokip, Xisco, Lewis, Lopez, Semboi. 

ALSO READ: How Bartholomew Ogbeche and Federico Gallego have made up NorthEast United’s backbone this season?

7:00 PM- Hello everyone. It is a wonderful evening here in Guwahati and it is a delight to host the 2018-19 ISL season playoffs opener at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium. Both sets of players are already in the venue and are just waiting to get on the pitch to kick off their respective campaigns on a high note. The weather here is just perfect for a high voltage football game between the two Indian Super League behemoths, NorthEast United and Bengaluru FC in the first leg of this playoff clash. Stay tuned and enjoy the commentary of with Khel Now Football!

MATCH PREVIEW: NorthEast United host Bengaluru FC in their maiden semi-final clash