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NorthEast United v Pune City Match Report, 20/02/19

1 - 1
R. Borges (47)
A. Khan (69)
Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium
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NorthEast United vs Pune City
The Highlanders will now need to win their last league game, against Kerala Blasters, to qualify for the playoffs...

NorthEast United and FC Pune City played out a 1-1 draw in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash on Wednesday at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.

Rowllin Borges broke the deadlock in the 47th minute of the match but Adil Khan's world-class strike in the 69th minute salvaged a point for the Stallions.

New Colombian recruit Janeiler Vilas started on the bench as Gurwinder Singh kept his place in defence. Marcelinho's suspension meant Phil Brown had to make an enforced change as Jonathan Vila came into a 3-1-4-2 system.

Gurwinder managed to justify his selection as he blocked off an Iain Hume header early on and also at the opposite end of the pitch, he threatened to score, only to be hauled down by a questionable Robin Singh challenge.

Iain Hume tapped the ball home five minutes from the half-time whistle but the Canadian was offside from the cross by Diego Carlos.

Moments later, Adil Khan managed to guide the ball on target from a corner kick but goalkeeper Pawan Kumar obliged despite being blinded by teammate Rowllin Borges.

It took 63 seconds for Borges to draw first blood after the change of ends. Ogbeche only guided the ball between the two defenders after being played on by Puitea. Kamaljit came off his line facing Borges but failed to grab the ball as the Goan jumped over him and slotted it in front of an empty net, scoring in consecutive outings.

That lead remained for a tad over a quarter of an hour as Pune City turned up the heat. Kuruniyan fed off Carlos whose lightning cross towards the far side saw an unmarked Adil finish with a brilliant volleyed attempt.

Hume's luck eluded him once again as a close attempt only bounced off the underside of the crossbar. Pawan did well to keep his side in the game as he slapped off an awkward looping deflection going goalwards from Kuruniyan's shot.

The hosts were reduced to ten men when Jose Leudo lost his cool and elbowed Carlos twice as the Highlanders were kept waiting in their quest to reach the playoff for the very first time ever.

They visit Kerala Blasters in their final game while Pune City, officially out of the race to make the top four, end the season with two home games.