Seminlen Doungel and Rehenesh script NorthEast's surprise win against Goa
Written by: Manas Pratim Kashyap
The Highlanders returned to winnning ways at long last as they upset hotshots Gaurs.
"It takes change to make change," read one fan banner in the stands. And rightly so, the result was there for the taking. NorthEast United FC registered their first home win of the season against a formidable FC Goa. The home team started the game with much intent but Goa dominated most of the possession.
For the Highlanders, Marcinho and Seiminlen Doungel were on target but Manuel Arana had earlier equalized for FC Goa. The performance of the Indian players has been rated as follows:
Watch: NorthEast united 2-1 FC Goa highlights
Nirmal Chettri- 6.5
Despite the fans behind him all the time, Nirmal had an average game overall. He struggled in the initial moments of the game and was beaten for pace by the Goa wingers. However he intercepted vital through balls and his headed clearance late into the second half proved important.
Seiminlen Doungel- 8.5
"Len" Doungel was a treat to watch. His brilliant first touches and turns, running down the wings to delivery crosses into the box, everything was top class. The Goan midfield had a tough time dealing with this pacy Manipuri forward. He scored the decisive goal of the match after a brilliant through ball from Marcinho found him clear on the right side in the final third and the forward chipped it over Goan keeper Laxmikant Kattimani for an elegant finish.
Holicharan Narzary- 6.5
With a pass accuracy of 52%, the left winger did not have the best of times on the field. He drilled in crucial crosses into the opponent box, only for them to be cleared or fall short of his teammates. Long-time absentee Robert Lalthlamuana replaced him in the 74th minute.
Reagan Singh- 6.0
The Manipuri defender put in a full shift on the night. He was sloppy on occasions, but showed sparks of brilliance. His clearances were vital to keep the lead intact when Goa pressed on late in the second half.
Rehenesh TP -8.0
The 24-year-old goalie had a great game. He denied Ferran Corominas in the 10th minute of the match with a full length stretch to his right. Rehenesh made a couple of crucial finger tip saves to force the ball over the bar. His saves. seven catches, seven punches and our clearances proves his worth to the team. However, a rare defensive lapse from Jose Goncalves denied him a clean sheet.
Rowllin Borges- 7.0
The India international stood tall on the night and marshalled the midfield to his tunes. He made his presence felt with a 83% pass accuracy. When Goa pressed late on in the second half in search of an equalizer, he made some vital interceptions which paid dividends.
Robert Lalthlamuana -6.0
Replaced Halicharan Narzary in the 74th minute. After the first couple of matches, Robert was warming the bench under former head coach Joao Carlos Pires de Deus. To ward off a late equaliser from FC Goa, the NEUFC think-tank brought in defensive reinforcement. Robert was instrumental in clearing away crosses into the box in the final quarter of the game.
Abdul Hakku- NA
Did not feature long enough to be rated. replaced Marcinho in the 90th minute. Made A couple of crucial clearances in added time to see his team through.
He was one of the most disciplined players on the night. He was very neat in his defensive duties and gave good company to Sergio Juste in moving the ball around. Despite his 92% pass accuracy he was unlucky to finish on the losing side.
Brandon Fernandes- 6.5
The attacker had a few moments where his crosses looked threatening but could not break the shackles. Reagan Singh was able to keep the Goan winger at bay.
Mandar Rao Dessai -7.0
This versatile Goan midfielder was employed on defensive duties by coach Sergio Lobera and he stood out well. On several occasions he did not hesitate to run up the pitch and lay off vital through balls or feed in crosses into the box.
Pronoy Halder -7.5
He was the lynchpin of the Goa midfield. Halder was on the ball for Goa almost every time they inched closer to score. He combined well with Ahmed Jahouh to manoeuvre the ball across the midfield. He dug out some dangerous crosses into the NEUFC box most of which were dealt safely by the opposition centre halves. A Jose Goncalves error inside the box off one of his crosses was poked in brilliantly by Manuel Arana to cancel out the Highlanders' lead. He was replaced by Edu Bedia in the 63rd minute.
Seriton Fernandes -7.0
Seriton Fernandes had a decent game but finished on the wrong side. He was able to keep Narzary off the radar most of the time, despite minor hiccups. Whenever he was free upfront, he fancied going forward and took long range shots which required Rehenesh to come into play.
Laxmikant Kattimani -5.5
The FC Goa skipper and custodian displayed an average performance with the gloves. Doungel chipped a teasing ball over Kattimani into the back of the net to score the winner when the latter charged off his line. He was once again on the wrong end of affairs when he handled the ball off a Juste back pass, earning NEUFC a free-kick inside the penalty box.
Manvir Singh -5.0
Manvir Singh chance
Replaced Brandon Fernandes in the 73rd minute. He looked lively during his time on the field but failed to capitalize on his chances. He almost scored the equalizer for FC Goa off his headed first touch, but Rehenesh made sure he didnt commit any blunder. He missed another sitter off a Seriton cross in front of an open goal just seconds later.
Mohamed Ali -5.5
Replaced Juste in the 63rd minute. Ali was not required much deep into the second half as Goa launced attacks inside the opposition half. But, he was true to his defensive responsibilities and did not put a foot wrong.
Published: Sun Jan 07, 2018 07:42 PM IST