NorthEast United FC recorded their second win of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22, beating SC East Bengal 2-0 at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Friday.
The result extends SCEB’s winless run to seven games, keeping them rooted to the bottom of the points table.
VP Suhair broke the deadlock in the 61st minute by scoring his second goal of the season to give NEUFC a crucial lead. Patrick Flottmann extended the advantage seven minutes later with his first goal in the ISL after heading in a cross.
NEUFC’s evening started on a negative note as they lost Hernan Santana to injury during the warm-up. The first 30 minutes did not have any clear scoring opportunities as both teams cancelled each other out. SCEB saw their centre-back Franjo Prce leave the pitch due to a twisted ankle and he was replaced by Amir Dervisevic in the first half.
Rochharzela and Naorem Singh received a yellow card each for reckless tackles before the break. There was a clear lack of quality in the final third from both teams as there were no shots on target in the first 45-minutes.
The second half started with an immediate yellow card to Lalkhawpuimawia whose shot just before the hour mark from inside the box was headed straight at the goalkeeper.
However, just after the hour mark, SCEB defender Raju Gaikwad gave the ball away inside his own half and the subsequent cross was put in the net from close range by VP Suhair.
A few minutes later, thanks to some clever work from a free-kick, a cross found Patrick Flottmann who converted his header from point-blank range to extend his team’s lead. Khassa Camara and Mathias Coureur came close to scoring as well but their attempts went wide.
To add insult to injury for the Red and Gold Brigade, Antonio Perosevic was shown a direct red card late in the game for barging into referee Rahul Kumar Gupta out of frustration.
The Highlanders defended their advantage well and held on to secure crucial three points in the battle of the bottom-placed teams.