NORTHEAST UNITED BEGAN their Durand Cup 2023 campaign with an easy victory over Shillong Lajong FC.
Local hero Parthib Gogoi emerged as the main protagonist as he scored a hat-trick against the young Lajong side.
Parthib was the first to break the deadlock around the 26th minute, before NEUFC's star signing Romain Philippoteaux doubled the lead around the half hour mark.
In the second half, Parthib hit his peak form. The 20 year old scored twice within 5 minutes midway through the half, securing the win for NEUFC.
With this win, NEUFC have taken a huge step towards ensuring a top two finish in their group, which also features FC Goa. The Gaurs and the Highlanders will face off with each other on 12th August in an afternoon kick-off.
Shillong Lajong, who recently earned a promotion to the I-League, will face FC Goa on 8th August in their next outing.