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NorthEast United find themselves in a spot of bother after Bengaluru defeat

3:52 PM MYT 19/12/2019
NEUFC Bengaluru FC ISL
The Highlanders faced their second consecutive home defeat in the Indian Super League on Wednesday...

NorthEast United started the Indian Super League (ISL) season with a six-game unbeaten run which saw them sit inside the top-four and establish themselves as one of the contenders for the four play-off spots.

However, their fortunes have gone south since. The unbeaten run came to an end against ATK (0-3) in Guwahati and their misery continued with yet another defeat (0-2) at the hands of Bengaluru FC on Wednesday night, yet again at home in Guwahati.

The two back-to-back defeats makes it just one win in six games for the Highlanders and they are currently in sixth spot, three points off the top four.

The two defeats have coincided with the injury to their star striker Asamoah Gyan. Without the Ghanaian forward, the NorthEast attack has looked pedestrian. Against Bengaluru, there was a genuine lack of quality in the attacking third from the Highlanders and that came back to bite them.

NorthEast, surprisingly, have scored just eight goals in eight games which is better than only Chennaiyin FC and Hyderabad FC. Without Gyan, their attack has a pedestrian feel to it.

It has been the case even during their unbeaten start to the season. NorthEast have had to rally late and score a fair few late goals to rescue games. But without Gyan and Martin Chaves looking off colour, the goals seems to have dried up.

Despite the fact that Bengaluru did not dominate the game in Guwahati, they had enough quality to churn out a result.

However, Bengaluru were also helped by some poor defending from the home side. The Blues themselves have not exactly been freescoring up front and it was not hard to see why. Ashique Kuruniyan, who has been poor this season, had a better game and so did Udanta Singh. But the two have not been contributing enough goals and Bengaluru required a spotkick, awarded for a handball by Nim Dorjee Tamang, to take the lead.

In fact, NorthEast's defence has been shaky. And so is their midifeld. The problem lies with the Indian players who have not exactly performed well this season, apart from Redeem Tlang. The departure of Rowllin Borges and the lack of a potential replacement for him has also hurt NorthEast.

A late goal from Albert Serran sealed the win for Bengaluru who moved to the top of the table. They seem to be churning out results despite struggling to score goals at will.

NorthEast, on the other hand, are slipping down a slope and need to arrest the slide as soon as possible.