NorthEast United FC recorded a 2-0 win over Chennaiyin FC on Tuesday night in the Indian Super League, and the side from Guwahati have finally got their first three points of the tournament this year.
Marquee player Simao Sabrosa struck his first goal of the tournament in his maiden appearance in the ISL following a powerful spot kick in the 90th minute, and Nico Velez decorated the icing on the cake late in the match by scoring his first of the ISL as well.
The first half remained a cagey battle with both sides eking out chances, but no side really dominated in that half. The only talking point remained the penalty stop by Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Edel Bete in the 39th minute.
A foul by Alessandro Potenza on NorthEast United's Cederic Hengbart saw the referee award the penalty for the home side. Diomansy Kamary stepped up to take the spot kick, but Edel Bete used the best of his reflexes to dive in to the left and comforably catch the low ball.
The half also saw Chennaiyin's Harmanjot Khabra receive a red card in the closing stages for his aggressive behaviour.
Jayesh Rane also tried his luck for the away side but his shots remained off-target. Manuele Blasi also tried his luck in teh 37th minute but the shot was comfortably in the hold of Rehenesh, who started between the sticks for the home side today, ahead of Gennaro Bracigliano.
Bernard Mendy received a booking in the closing stages as he got embroiled into a war of words with NorthEast United coach Cesar Farias.
At half time, the score remained goalless.
The second half is when the action really started as a host of stars from both sides took to the field. While Stiven Mendoza and Elano came on for the away side, Nico Velez and Sanju Pradhan, as well as marquee player Simao Sabrosa was brought on by Cesar Farias.
And there couldn't be a better opportunity for Simao to shine on the occasion. The ex-Portugal international comfortably slotted home from the second penalty of the night, giving Bete little-to-no-chance.
Simao kept his shot in the left corner, and although Bete dived in the correct direction, the custodian remained slower compared to the ball.
Nico Velez finally got to see his hard work bear fruit as he slotted home at the death to make it a great first-victory for NorthEast United FC in the ISL this season.
The highlights of the game can be found HERE.