GUWAHATI, Oct 20 - After three back to back defeats, NorthEast United Football Club (NEUFC) celebrated their first win in the Hero Indian Super League II at their homegroud, Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Sarusajai here with a 2-0 victory against Chennaiyin FC.
In a mediocre encounter, the home team struck at the later stage of the match through substitutes Simao Pedro Da Fonseca Sabrosa (penalty) and Nicholas Leonardo Velez.
The match witnessed a bright start with two brilliant moves from either side. The hosts came close in the very first minute, but Francis Dadzie missed the target. Soon after off a counterattack, Chennaiyin�s Ethiopian forward Fikru Teferra found himself in front of the open net, but he finished with an off-the-target loose shot.
Apart from these two, hardly any positive moves were visible in the first session. It was NEUFC French striker Diomansy M Kamara who squandered a spot kick in the 38th minute. The penalty was awarded following a foul made by the away team defender Alessandro Potenza on Kamara. Just after two minutes, Chennaiyin midfielder Harmanjot Singh Khabra was given marching order for violent play.
Assam boy Holicharan Narzary, fielded in the first eleven, made his presence felt with some positive attitude. He tried to build moves with Kamara and Francis, but their efforts were not enough to break the defence of the team coached by Marco Materazzi, the Zidane head-butt fame in the 2002 World Cup.
Earlier, the hosts made as much as seven changes in their starting line-up that played the last match against FC Goa. Chennaiyin FC also did not field their star striker Colombian John Steven Mendoza who has been the top scorer with five goals in four matches.
Chennaiyin co-owner Abhishek Bachchan made an appearance during the interval amidst cheers from the 19,000-odd crowd.
In the second session the 10-men Chennaiyin were in aggressive mood with substitute Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto initiating a couple of beautiful moves. But Fikru failed to anticipate the defence-splitting passes.
NEUFC coach Cesar Farias brought in Sanju Pradhan replacing Holicharan in the 59th minute which resulted a few eye-catching moves from the hosts. However, the Chennaiyin defenders made good works to foil all the attempts.
At the fag end of the regulation time (89th minute) NEUFC earned another penalty as Jayesh brought down Simao inside the box. Simao made no mistake in shooting home.
The host team struck again in the added time when Nicholas anticipated a square pass from Sanju and Nicolas easily beat the Chennaiyin custodian Apoula Edima with a well controlled placement.