NEW DELHI: For some time, it was difficult to understand if it was a home or an away game for NorthEast United. As their players took the field, a thousand voices started chanting their names. The noise grew louder as the match progressed and rejuvenated Cesar Farias’ boys, who came from behind to hold Delhi Dynamos 1-1 in Tuesday’s ISL clash.
Dynamos had a chance to go top of the table, but NorthEast proved they were no pushovers. Even though Ghanaian Richard Gadze gave the hosts a lead in the 37th minute, the visitors kept their cool. Their hard work paid off in the second half, when Simao Sabrosa scored in the 73rd minute. Replacing Silas, the Portuguese earned the distinction of converting the first direct free-kick of the season. While the NorthEast supporters looked happy, the result could have been different had Francis Dadzie’s long-ranger not hit the bar.
Despite starting favourites, Dynamos struggled in the middle. At times, there was lack of co-ordination between the forward line and defence. Though Roberto Carlos started, his presence did little to better things.
For Dynamos, it was a disappointing day, on and off the field, as the organisers were left red-faced. With floodlights not working, the match was delayed by 35 minutes. The error was rectified, but some of the lights were inactive. Officials said it wasn’t a major gaffe. “The transformer blew up just before the game and even the back-up facility didn’t work. So, we made some immediate arrangements to get the game going. Thankfully, everything went fine,” Dynamos media manager Renatta Millington told Express.
Other sources said absence of back-up delayed proceedings. “As hosts, it was Delhi’s responsibility to arrange everything. There was not enough power back-up.”