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ISL 2023-24: NorthEast United, Hyderabad share points in 1-1 draw

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Two goals in the first half led to Hyderabad FC (HFC) being held to a 1-1 draw by NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 tonight.

NEUFC had a pressing control over the proceedings right from the get-go. Inspired by the dynamic duo of Nestor Albiach and Romain Philippoteaux, it created chances aplenty as Hyderabad FC was forced back inside its box for a large chunk of the opening 15 minutes.

Nestor came within touching distance of netting the opener, thanks to a delightful chip that was thwarted with some concerted effort by the visitors’ backline in the sixth minute. The resulting corner led to Hyderabad FC attacker Joe Knowles nearly smashing the ball inside his own net.

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However, this continued period of pressure bore fruits when Philippoteaux tried to slice home the ball but it took a deflection off Hyderabad FC centre-back Nim Dorjee Tamang and rolled past Gurmeet Singh to finally give a tangible outcome to the efforts that the Highlanders delivered early on in the game.

Nestor was threatening for the Hyderabad FC unit tonight though, but he walked out of the game without getting a goal. There were multiple instances when he was a few yards out from hammering the ball past Gurmeet, but Thangboi Singto’s men rode their wave of luck to somehow survive the show that the Spaniard put up in the first half.

In the 37th minute, the Highlanders ended up hitting the crossbar twice, courtesy of a free-kick by Tondonba Singh. The fullback was the second of the players to take a shot that glanced off the posts, and Hyderabad FC made it pay for this with the help of Petteri Pennanen.

Mohammad Yasir was quick to pick the ball from a kickoff and fearlessly steer through the Highlanders’ midfield. Near the box, he played a curling grounded pass to Pennanen, who showed some fantastic finishing finesse to find the back of the net from a tight angle near the goalkeeper.

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The two teams consolidated their backlines simultaneously whilst searching for the winner but the home team eventually had to settle for the 1-1 score and take solace with the draw.

After the draw, NEUFC finds itself sixth with 10 points from nine matches, while Hyderabad FC languishes at the bottom with four points from the same number of outings.

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