Guwahati: NorthEast United FC breathed new life into their dying Indian Super League campaign with a dramatic 1-0 victory over FC Pune City on Tuesday.
NorthEast United had gone six matches without a win, losing four of them. With just two points from their last six matches they were on the verge of exit until Ivory Coast midfielder Romaric scored from a stunning free-kick in the 81st minute to leave FC Pune City's campaign in tatters.
The victory helped NorthEast United accumulate 14 points from 11 matches and move to the sixth spot. With three matches still left to be played and the jinx finally broken, coach Nelo Vingada will feel more confident. Pune City on the other hand have 15 points from 12 matches and will have to win their next two games to be assured of a place in the play-offs.
The NorthEast-Pune battle was a cagey affair particularly in the first session when neither team enjoyed clear cut chances.
Momar Ndoye was the only player who provided some entertainment when he danced his way on the left but could not beat goalkeeper Subrata Paul from a narrow angle. Midfielder Jonatan Lucca also missed a good chance from just outside the box when the ball fell for him nicely but he could only shoot waywardly with his left-foot.
For NorthEast United, there was hardly any chance of note with Katsumi Yusa's attempt on goal which goalkeeper Edel Bete saved without much difficulty being the only shot on target.