Guwahati : NorthEast United FC have a chance to open the gap at the top when they host defending champions Chennaiyin FC in an intriguing Hero Indian Super League clash at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, on Thursday.
NorthEast United have led the ISL table since their opening day win over Kerala Blasters FC. They now have 10 points from five matches, and a win against the defending champions will open a clear five-point gap at the top of the table.
“I am sure that in Guwahati and other regions in the north-east, people will take pride in these players and this team. We reached 10 points so far, which is good but we have not yet reached our target, which is to play the semi-finals,” said NorthEast manager Nelo Vingada.
NorthEast United managed a fighting 1-1 draw against Delhi Dynamos in the previous match and, according to Vingada, the team can now match the best teams in the league.
“We need more points but I’m very confident because in these five games our team has kept improving and now we can play anywhere against anyone and give a fight. But of course we play to win. I’m very happy to be part of this league, this country and the atmosphere is great,” said Vingada, whose team was picked up for rich praise from Delhi Dynamos coach Gianluca Zambrotta who said NorthEast were the “best football playing team at present.”
Chennaiyin FC will have pleasant memories about last season when they won the title but they will hope to forget their visit to Guwahati in a hurry. It all ended in disaster for Marco Materazzi’s side last season when Harmanjyot Khabra was sent off.