Hyderabad FC overcame NorthEast United FC with a 4-2 win at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Friday to secure back-to-back wins in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21. Aridane Santana and Joel Chianese gave Hyderabad a two-goal lead in the first half before a Federico Gallego penalty and a Benjamin Lambot goal restored parity for NorthEast ahead of the break. Super-sub Liston Colaco then came off the bench and netted two late goals to give Hyderabad the win.
Hyderabad took the lead just three minutes into the game after some delightful work by Chianese. The Australian picked the ball up on the right and surged to the byline, drifting past two NorthEast defenders on the way before squaring the ball for Santana, who had the simplest of tap-ins to make it 1-0 for Manuel Marquez’s men.
NorthEast had a big chance to equalise in the 13th minute when a Gallego freekick into the box found Idrissa Sylla, who was unmarked. The Guinean forward though couldn’t quite connect properly with his head as the chance went abegging.
Hyderabad had another reprieve shortly after when a Luis Machado shot from distance was tipped on to the post by the goalkeeper. NorthEast continued to push forward in search of a leveller and Sylla forced Hyderabad’s goalkeeper into conceding a corner with a shot from range just before the half hour mark.
Marquez’s men then made NorthEast pay for their failure to make the most of their chances by doubling their lead in the 36th minute. Chianese was the goal-scorer on this occasion and he benefited after Akash Mishra won the ball near NorthEast’s box and passed it to the Australian who drove into the penalty area with the ball at his feet before firing his shot away into the far corner to give Hyderabad a 2-0 lead.
NorthEast though fought back before halftime when Halicharan Narzary was adjudged to have brought down Ashutosh Mehta in the box. Gallego took the penalty and dispatched it straight down the middle to halve the deficit.
The Highlanders then scored the equaliser with the last kick of the half after a cross from the right was headed on target by Ashutosh. Hyderabad’s goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani managed to keep out Ashutosh’s header but the resulting goal-mouth scramble following the save culminated in Lambot finding the back of the net to make it all square at the break.
Gerard Nus’ men could have gone in front within a minute of the restart after a cross from the right found Machado in the box. However, the Portuguese attacker’s shot was disappointing as he put his attempt over the crossbar.
Machado then tested Kattimani in goal with an effort from outside the box on the hour mark, but the Indian goalkeeper was alert and made the save. Sylla also tested Kattimani with a shot from inside the box two minutes later. However, the Indian custodian was up to the task again and made a comfortable save at his near post.
Hyderabad had a chance to regain their lead in the 80th minute when a cross from the left found an unmarked Chianese in the box. The Australian’s header though was wide of the target to the disappointment of his teammates. Narzary then found the ball at his feet with time and space moments later. However, like Chianese earlier, his shot didn’t test the goalkeeper.
That said, the Telangana-based club did get their goal in the 85th minute courtesy of some individual brilliance by Colaco. The Hyderabad substitute received the ball on the right and dribbled past three players before cutting on to his weaker left foot and curling his effort into the far corner.
Colaco wasn’t done yet and ran in behind the defence thanks to a touch from Santana in the dying moments of the game. He went on to score his second of the night by slotting the ball past the goalkeeper to secure the win for Hyderabad.