Egged on by a vociferous home crowd, NorthEast United FC kick-started their campaign in the 3rd Hero Indian Super League on a winning note with a 1-0 victory over Kerala Blasters here on Saturday.
After a barren first session where NorthEast United dominated for long spells, Katsumi Yusa scored the all-important goal in the 54th minute.
NorthEast United were determined to get a positive result from the opener and fielded an attacking line-up with Nicolas Velez, Holicharan Narzary and Emiliano Alfaro in attacking positions. Kerala, on the other hand, were content in soaking up the pressure which they did well in the first 45 minutes but succumbed to NorthEast’s might in the second session.
After near misses in the first half, NorthEast United finally tasted success in the 54th minute. It was Velez who made it happen after dancing down the left flank and essaying a cross which the Kerala defence missed and Katsumi was only too happy to speed forward and tap it into the goal.