"This one's for the ones who never stopped believing." read the full-time post's caption on Northeast United FC's social media handles and that line makes so much sense for all the Highlanders back home.
A new beginning under Khalid Jamil, the first win against Jamshedpur, the first win in our white jersey, an end to the winless run, and of course two new goalscorers for the team summed up our Super Sunday.
Matchday 61 saw the Highlanders put up a convincing and strong shift to defeat the men of steel at the Tilak Maidan. Ashu-tough Mehta opened the scoring for the Highlanders and Deshorn Brown scored his first in his new colors. Jamshedpur FC did pull one back in a controversial manner. Both teams took their time with Northeast United dominating possession but it was Jamshedpur FC who made the first move. Aniket Jadhav's beautiful pass found Nerijus Valskis who's attempt was denied by our custodian Subhasish.
A few minutes later, Gallego's delivery from the right corner found Sylla, and the former Queens Park Rangers striker did manage a shot on target but our former goalkeeper TP Rehenesh denied him and Dylan Fox the opener as he made two back to back saves.
Just after the drinks break, Magical Machado gave us a show when he attempted an acrobatic goal, thanks to a perfect cross from VP Suhair only for TP to parry it away. What a goal it would have been! With the kind of energy and hunger that the Highlanders possessed, they deserved a goal and a goal did come in from Ashu-Tough Mehta who scored his first goal in Northeast United colours, and guess who assisted him? None other than a particular Uruguayan.
Khalid Jamil's men started off brightly in the second half with new Highlander Deshorn Brown coming on for Idrissa Sylla. It just 16 minutes for the Jamaican international to score his first in our colours and double the lead. After the second goal, Jamshedpur FC came out all guns blazing, and an Aitor Monroy free-kick was well cleared by the wall in the first attempt. However, they had another chance to cut short when Subhasish Roy Chowdhury's goal kick found Nerijus Valskis. The defending golden boot winner did release a shot but our last line of defense Subhasish did make up for his mistake and pulled off a great save.
The Hosts did score a consolation goal in a controversial manner as Peter Hartley scored his first goal in India. That looked like a shady handball though. Just a few moments after the consolation "goal", it was Nerijus Valskis who almost equalized but his header went over the post. Sheriff can go home proud, eh?
Hero of the Match – Federico Gallego
Fede pulled off his first Hero of the match award. He was involved in both the goals scored by our side and even created 6 chances. Up next a couple of competitive games against Mumbai and ATKMB
Up the Highlanders!
We Walk Through This Together.