Nicolas Ladislao Fedor and Udanta Singh Kumam of Bengaluru FC celebrates the goal during match 19 of the Hero Indian Super League between NorthEast United FC and Bengaluru FC

Well past the 90th minute, the Highlanders stuck in a hurdle in the middle with coach Joao De Deus doing the talking. On the background, the Highlander Brigade sang: we shall overcome…someday…

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

The NorthEast United FC on Friday yet again failed to score at home as Bengaluru FC returned to winning ways and occupied their place at the top of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) table.

Venezuelan striker Miku scored the only goal of the match for Bengaluru FC in the 47th minute to take their points tally to nine.

Overcoming a goalkeeping crisis, Bengaluru FC, with two of their regular goalkeeper unavailable, was well served by Lalthuammawia Ralte who proved good enough for the visitors. Ralte wasn’t troubled much – thanks to a tight defensive line – but whenever called into action, he made no mistake, particularly in the final minute of the match when he stopped a close-range attempt from Danilo Lopes.

“He (Lalthuammawia Ralte) was playing very well. He was quite good with the saves. He saved good shots and was at the same level as the rest of the team,” Bengaluru FC coach Alberto Roca said after the match.

NorthEast United FC were undone by a goalkeeping error from TP Rehenesh that led to the only goal of the match, 90 seconds after the second half had kicked off. The NorthEast United goalkeeper blundered after receiving a back pass from Nirmal Chhetri. Instead of clearing the ball to safety, Rehenesh looked to play it for defender Jose Goncalves where Udanta Singh intercepted and picked up Miku who made no mistake with only the goalkeeper to beat.

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NorthEast United never recovered from that setback and Bengaluru FC were experienced enough to shut the door. NorthEast forward Marcinho looked impressive in the first half and came close on two occasions but in the second session, he was not as effective.

In the closing stages of the match, NorthEast United got one final chance to get something out of this game. It was also the closest they came to finding the equaliser but Danilo’s well-timed effort from inside the box saw goalkeeper Ralte perfectly positioned to block the attempt.

A goalkeeper whose starting place in the team was in doubt eventually proved more than equal to the task.

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