Indian Super League (ISL) side NorthEast United FC sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the Durand Cup 2023 with a blistering 3-1 victory over Downtown Heroes FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday. The Highlanders put up a dominant display in the second half to secure a comeback win. Goals from Ibson Melo, Romain Philippoteaux and Parthib Gogoi helped the Highlanders become the second team to progress from Group D.
Juan Pedro Benali made six changes to his side from the 2-2 draw with FC Goa, handing starts to Ibson Melo & Nestor Albiach with Romain captaining the side. A sluggish start followed for the hosts & they fell behind to an opportunistic goal by Parvaj Bhuiya early in less than nine minutes.
NorthEast United FC struggled to create concrete chances and ended the first half trailing 1-0. The gaffer rung in the changes ahead of the second half with Parthib Gogoi, Phalguni Singh and Dinesh Singh coming on. And the game turned on its head within the first seven minutes of the restart.
Ibson netted the equaliser from close range in the 48th minute and four minutes later Romain danced his way into the box and slammed home into the bottom corner to put the Highlanders ahead. NEUFC continued to dominate the half and the three points were sealed when Parthib emulated Romain in the 78th minute and showed excellent composure to score his fourth of the tournament.
With this result, NorthEast United FC have accumulated seven points from their three group stage matches and will advance to the quarter-finals as one of the top two second-placed teams.
On the other side, Jamshedpur FC suffer a heavy defeat as they went down 6-0 to Mohammedan SC in their final match of the Durand Cup 2023 at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan Stadium, in Kolkata, on Sunday.
An early goal for Lalremsanga Fanai of Mohammedan SC in the 10th and 16th minutes of the game shook the young side, who attempted to get forward and equalise as the game proceeded further. The young team of Jamshedpur FC tried to stop Mohammedan attacks but another goal from David Lalhlansanga in the 28th minute ended the first half with a 3-0 lead for Mohammedan SC.
David scored another three goals in the 69th, 82nd & 89th minute of the match which took his team to a comfortable 6-0 victory. The young Men of Steel had custodian Mohit Singh Dhami to thank for some outstanding saves, and an attack from Ashley Koli at the other end gave hope of a consolation goal, but he was denied in his attempts to score and Mohammedan took the game and a clean sheet.
With this, Jamshedpur FC finish third in Group B with three points from three matches.
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