Yesterday’s game was one of them. You know, it’s coming to the end of the season, neither team has got anything, bar pride, to play for. That’s one of the problems with the whole ISL set up, there’s no relegation, if there was relegation involved then it would have been the six-pointer to end all six-pointers as if Delhi won they’d go level on points with their opponents, NorthEast United, with a game in hand. Alternatively, if NorthEast came away with the win, they’d have gone six points clear of Delhi and would have been pretty safe from ending up with the wooden spoon come the end of the season. As the story goes, Delhi did win and they’re level on points with NorthEast now and as much as I wish I could end this match report there, I can’t, so let’s try and make a story out of this…
Seven Out Of Twenty-Four
Under Avram Grant’s tutelage, NorthEast United have acquired seven points out of a possible twenty-four which is not very clever by anyone’s standards, however, I said that he’d get at least double what Joao de Deus got and he needs one more point to do that, so don’t let a brother down, eh, Avram? It’s weird though because when I spoke to Eelco Schattorie, Avram’s assistant, earlier in the season, he said he knew they needed to sign a striker but then for some reason they didn’t. I don’t know why and although the playoffs were never really a realistic target for them, they certainly haven’t done themselves any favours over recent weeks.
In Delhi’s dugout, Miguel Portugal has somehow kept himself in a job and one can only imagine he must have some sort of dirt on Delhi’s owners because their results have been piss-poor, let’s not beat around the bush. Have they been unlucky at times? Of course they have. Is that the reason for all of their shit this season? Absolutely not.
Bring On The Gunge!
To the game itself; the stadium was sparsely populated despite the fact that the people of Guwahati have taken NorthEast into their hearts and as I touched on earlier, it’s no surprise because the game was a dead rubber. They could do something at the end of games, like the losing captain gets drowned in gunge, just something! The highlights of the game were very much few and far between but here goes…
The first half saw three shots in total and only one of those was on target. All of them were for NorthEast yet Delhi had more of the ball and completed more passes, such is the mystery of the ISL at times. Doungel had the first and probably the best opportunity of the opening half after he was played in by Reagan, he suffered from a severe lack of composure, panicked and practically passed it back to the keeper. And that was the one on target. I don’t blame you if you stop reading here. Next up, Maic Sema had a chance but the angle was far too tight and the ex-Orebro man could only fire into the side netting. The last chance of the half worth talking about and I’m clutching at straws here, saw Marcinho have a header deflect off one of Delhi’s defenders and then the ball arrived in Xabier’s hands. Halftime.
A Right Smash & Grab
I’d love to say the second half gets better, but it really doesn’t. Marcinho had a penalty shout turned down when he was really looking for it so the referee seemed to make the right call, however, Avram Grant’s decision to withdraw Marcinho would seemingly change the game. After the Brazilian was taken off, Delhi seemed to get slightly more of a stranglehold in the game and they managed six shots on goal in the second half as opposed to the zero they achieved in the first half. Nothing of much substance though as balls were flashed across the face of goal here and there. They were getting more and more dangerous though and with only three minutes left on the clock, Kalu Uche rose unattended to head home after a delightful delivery from David Ngaihte. That was the end of that. A right smash & grab by Miguel’s men.
It seemed that Delhi were always destined to finish bottom of the ISL as NorthEast did initially pick up under NorthEast, but now, well it’s anyone’s guess. Let’s just hope that Goa versus Chennaiyin is more exciting than this.
Until the next time.