Indian Super League: Khalid Jamil creates history
Khalid Jamil created history when he became the first Indian coach to steer a team to the Indian Super League play-offs. At the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Friday, Khalid’s NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) defeated Kerala Blasters 2-0 in an ISL VII match to seal a last-four berth.
Khalid, who was appointed interim coach after the NEUFC brass showed Gerard Nus the door in early January, also extended his unbeaten run to nine games.
Needing just a point to qualify for their second-ever play-offs, NEUFC showed no signs of stopping as they attacked from the word ‘go’. They gained an advantage in the first session through goals from Suhair Vadakkepeedika (34th) and Lalengmawia (45th).
NEUFC had a great opportunity soon after the start. Luis Machado sent in a delivery into the box, which was headed out straight back to him. His cross from the right found Dylan Fox but he shot wide.
At the other end, Blasters missed getting ahead in the game. Bakary Kone managed to evade his marker and get to the end of a Jessel Carneiro corner, but his header missed the target.
In the 34th minute, NorthEast took the lead. Khassa Camara slipped in a through ball which Bakary Kone failed to deal with. Suhair Vadakkepeedika got on to the ball and went past Sandeep Singh, before rounding off an advancing Albino Gomes to put his side ahead.
Khalid’s men increased their lead just before the breather through an astonishing Lalengmawia strike. Fox set up Lalengmawia, whose well-struck long-ranger bounced off the underside of the bar into the net. The coach’s ecstatic look at the touchline showed just how good the goal was.