Guwahati: Brazilian winger Gustavo Dos Santos' late strike enabled Delhi Dynamos to pip North East United 2-1 en route their semi-final qualification in the Indian Super League football tournament on Saturday.
The Dynamos thus became the second team after defending champions Atletico de Kolkata to qualify for the last four stage with 21 points from 12 games. They still have two league matches left after this. North East are virtually out of contention with 17 points from 13 games.
While India international Robin Singh's opportunistic strike in the 20th minute provided lead to the Delhi franchise, his national team colleague Seityasen Singh equalised within seven minutes.
It was Dos santos' angular left-footer in the 88th minute that sealed the deal for Delhi.
The winners were today wearing an away jersey that resembled Catalan giants Barcelona's home jersey.
Delhi got the lead at the stroke of half an hour when North East goalkeeper TP Rahneesh's feeble punch fell infront as Robin showed good poaching ability with a crisp right footer much to the delight of his mother Caroline Singh, sitting in the stands.
However the joy was shortlived as Seityasen latched onto a miss pass from Ralte Adinga to enter the box and beat the Delhi goalie Antonio Doblas with immaculate placement that also had power.
After being locked 1-1 at half time, the teams traded moves in the second half without making any decisive inroads into the opposition citadel.
In the end it was 'Super Sub' Dos Santos, whose brilliant left-foot which has delighted the Delhi fans since last season got into act.
Getting a ball at the top of the box, he first did the spadework to beat an opposition defender and then unleashed a left-footer with the outstep that went past the roght of goalkeeper Rahneesh as the partisan crowd were stunned into silence.