NorthEast United fell prey to Delhi Dynamos at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium after Kalu Uche found the net in the 87th minute. Incidentally, the goal was the only shot on target by the Lions in ninety minutes of action.
Avram Grant made one change to the hosts from their loss to Jamshedpur FC as Robert Lalthamuana replaced Reagan Singh in the backline. As for the visiting side, Miguel Angel Portugal made as many as six changes with Rowilson Rodrigues, Sena Ralte, Seityasen Singh, Manuel Arana, Jeroen Lumu and David Ngaithe coming in for Jayananda Moirangthem, Munmun Lugun, Romeo Fernandes, Paulinho Dias, Kalu Uche and Lallianzuala Chhangte.
The side from the capital city had a good start to the match as they enjoyed lion’s share of ball possession. However, NorthEast United were superior in terms of shots taken and had a crucial opportunity at the end of the first quarter to open their account. Placed perfectly outside the box, Seiminlen Doungel made a run into the 18-yard area as he was served with a cross. Taking his time on the ball, the Manipur-born midfielder released a shot but it was too weak and straight at Xabier Iruetagueana in between the sticks.
The Highlander s came close to scoring in the 28th minute with Maic Sema getting the better of defender Mohammad Dhot as he made his way into the NorthEast United box; his shot, however, struck the side netting from an acute angle.
Five minutes before the halftime whistle, Maic Sema charged forward to find Seiminlen Doungel on the right side. As the ball was played into the path of Marcinho, he tried to flick it into the goal but a deflection kept the ball away from the danger.
NorthEast United continued to dominate proceedings in the attack even after the break as Marcinho troubled Delhi custodian Xabier in the 48th minute.Sprinting from the left, Marcinho surged into the box but lost the ball before he could deliver a cross from the byline.
Struggling to show intent going forward, Delhi Dynamos finally had a chance to get themselves a goal in the 67th minute. From the left wing, Matias Mirabaje played the ball for Kalu Uche inside the box who sent a cross towards Mohammad Dhot who headed over the bar from five yards out.
Six minutes later, the Lions had another chance to score, this time from a set play. As Lallianzuala Chhangte sent a curling delivery from the corner, David Ngaithe jumped for a header but his effort went awfully wide.
Delhi Dynamos scored from their only shot on target in the game through substitute Kalu Uche in the 87th minute. Released by Mohammad Dhot, David Ngaithe surged from the right flank before he fed Kalu Uche with a cross inside the box. Making no mistake whatsoever, the 35-year-old Nigerian headed the ball home as the visitors struck late in the game.
The win takes Miguel Angel Portugal's side to 11 points, same as Avram Grant's NorthEast United. However, the goal difference keeps them cemented at the bottom of the league standings.