Guwahati: NorthEast United pumped in three first half goals in a rampaging show to drub table toppers Chennaiyin FC 3-0 in an absorbing Hero Indian Super League match to keep their hopes of a semifinal berth alive here on Thursday.
Senegalese defender Massamba Lo Sambou scored twice (21st and 23th) in the space of two minutes after Assmamese Durga Boro struck in the 10th minute to consolidate his status as one of the domestic finds of the tournament in front of a packed crowd at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.
With nearly 30,000 home supporters cheering their club, NorthEast were ahead 3-0 in the 23rd minute and they denied the table leaders from Chennai to score any goal to notch up their first win in seven matches.
Chennaiyin did most of the attacking with more shots on goal but they could not find the target. Even NorthEast marquee player Joan Capdevila's expulsion in the 72nd minute after his second yellow card did not lead to any goal from Chennaiyin as the home side guarded their citadel well.
Before today's victory, NorthEast have not won a match since their 2-0 away defeat of Mumbai on October 24. Since then, they have lost three and drawn three matches before today's win.
After today's win, NorthEast have jumped to fifth spot with 13 points from 11 matches while Chennaiyin remained on top of league table with 19 points from 11 matches.
Chennaiyin will now feel the pressure what with Atletico de Kolkata hot on their heels with 16 points from 10 matches. Chennaiyin head down south to Kochi for a game against Kerala Blasters FC on November 30 while NorthEast travel to Goa for their next fixture on December 1.