Guwahati : Brazilian midfielder Gustavo Dos Santos’ late strike helped Delhi Dynamos beat NorthEast United 2-1 in an Indian Super League (ISL) encounter here on Saturday and to grab a semi-final spot.
It was Robin Singh who scored Delhi’s first of the night at the Indira Gandhi stadium in the 30th minute, but a little later, Seityasen Singh restored parity for the hosts. Santos then found the winner for the Roberto Carlos-coached side in the 88th minute.
With the win, Delhi now go second on the points table with 21 points from 12 games, while NorthEast are two rungs below with 17 points from 13 matches.
The first real chance of the first half fell for Robin, as Richard Gadze after chesting the ball down laid it for his strike partner, but the forward’s effort was kept out by Rehenesh T.P.
Barring a few shots from here and there, it was a cagey affair thereafter as both sides struggled to get hold of the midfield.
Robin finally broke the deadlock in the 30th minute as his first time strike found the back of the net. Rehenesh had to fist the ball away but a weak clearance saw the ball being knocked back to Robin who placed it near the first post.
A goal down, NorthEast pressed on the gas and their marquee player Simao Sambrosa almost got onto the score sheet but goalkeeper Antonio Doblas thwarted away his attempt.
A few minutes later, however the pressure put on by United paid off as the hosts restored parity. It was Seityasen who tucked the ball away calmly after taking two touches.
At halftime, the scoreline read 1-1.
It was quite a lacklustre start after the breather, but suddenly the game sprung open with a NorthEast counter attack. It was Seityasen again who almost ran the entire length of the pitch but was tackled near the edge of the rival penalty area, though it seemed like an unfair challenge, the referee thought otherwise.
Delhi had their moment as Santos tried his luck from distance, but his swirling effort was kept out acrobatically by Rehenesh.
But a few minutes later, it was Santos only who had an opportunity to shoot again. This time he did not miss and with a brilliant left footer, sealed the deal for his side.