Indian Super League is gaining popularity and making its mark season by season in the hearts of the Indian sports lovers. Today we will be portraying the ISL team from the northeast. The club is based on Guwahati, Assam and the first club in India which has been represented as a region instead of a city.
Along with West Bengal, Goa, and Kerala, Northeast is also one of the major forces in Indian football and has provided many good football players to the Indian National Football team. So let’s dig deep to know more about the NorthEast United FC.
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ISL Team – NorthEast United FC
Brief Information on NorthEast United FC
Full Name: NorthEast United FC
Founded on: 13th April 2014
Home Ground: Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Sarusajai, Guwahati, Assam
Head Coach: Robert Jarni
Affiliation: Indian Super League
Official Website: https://www.neutdfc.com/
How NorthEast United FC was found?
Early in 2014, it was announced that the national football federation of India, AIFF along with IMG-Reliance would be accepting bids for the football franchise in India for the upcoming Hero Indian Super League. In April 2014, it was announced that Bollywood actor John Abraham along with Shillong Lajong Football Club won the bid for this northeast franchise. It is the first club in India to be represented as a region instead of a city. The club represents 8 states which are known as Northeast India like Nagaland, Assam, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram.
2014 Inaugural Season
In the inaugural season, the club signed Joan Capdevila as their marquee player who has won the European Championship and also the FIFA World Cup with Spain. While joining the club he said, “India is a huge country and it should be a privilege for me to be a small part in popularizing this global game here and working with the young talented footballers of North East India”.
A month later, NorthEast United announced the signing of Ricki Herber who ha had managed the New Zealand national team at world cups as their head coach.
The first match of the season was a home match where they hosted Kerala Blasters won the match by 1-0. The first season was very disappointing for the club as they only managed to win 3 games out of the 14 games played throughout the season and ended the season at the bottom of the table.
2015 Season: Missed Playoffs by a Narrow Margin
Due to the performance of last season, Ricki Herber was sacked and in July 2015, former Venezuela national coach, Cesar Farias was appointed as the new head coach for the season. For the 2015 season, the club signed Simão Sabrosa a former Portuguese international as their new marquee player.
The team faced a hard spell at the start of the season as they lost all their opening 3 matches against Kerala Blasters, Pune City FC, and FC Goa respectively. But they bounced back and went on the finish the season in the 5th place where they narrowly missed the spot for qualifying the playoffs by just 2 points. Nicolas Velez with 5 goals be.
After the 2015 season, NorthEast United and Cesar Farias parted ways and in May 2016 signed a new manager Sergio Farias. However, Sergio went on joining his former club Suphanburi FC which made NorthEast United look for a new head coach and in July 2016 the club officially announced the exit of Sergio Farias. Later in the same month, the club went on to sign Nelo Vingada as the new head coach of the club.
The first game under Vingada was against Kerala Blasters where NorthEast United was the host for the match and won the game 1-0. The season was going good for the club till they lost 4 games in a row which again for the second time made them lose the spot for qualifying for the semi-finals by just 2 points. In the season, NorthEast scored 14 goals and conceded the equal numbers of goals scored in the season and out of which 8 goals were scored by the South American duo Emiliano Alfaro and Nicholas Velez with 5 and 3 goals respectively
2017-2018 Season: A Season to Forget
In the hopes of a great season, NorthEast United FC signed the young Portuguese manager Joao Carlos Pires de Deus as their new head coach.
The team began its season against the debutants Jamshedpur FC, the game ended in a goalless draw where neither of the two sides managed to find the net despite NorthEast United was playing against the 10 men Jamshedpur FC in the last 20 minutes. In the next game, the club failed to keep the record of never losing to Chennaiyin FC in Chennai where they lost by 3-0. The first win came against Delhi Dynamos where they won by 2-0 in the opponent’s turf. The happiness was short as the win was followed by a 4 match losing streak. The Portuguese manager was sacked right after the losing streak and ex-Chelsea boss Avram Grant acted as the caretaker manager in the absence of Joao.
Later in January 2018, Grant was promoted as the head coach of the club after releasing an official statement about Joao’s sacking. The team won their first 2 matches out of 3 under Avram, where they defeated Goa and Chennaiyin by 2-1 and 3-1 respectively. After the wins, the team failed to win a single game for the rest of the season and finished at the bottom of the table with only 3 wins in the whole season.
AIFF in February 2018, announced a new competition named Indian Super Cup as the Federation Cup’s replacement. NorthEast United participated in the Cup Qualifiers for the 4 remaining spots out of the 16 teams to have been played in the tournament. They played their qualifying match against Gokulam Kerala and lost by 2–0 which made them got eliminated in the qualifiers.
The new season started with a positive mindset under their new head coach Eelco Schatorrie where they drew the first match against Goa followed by 2 consecutive victories over ATK and the defending champs Chennaiyin FC.
In the game against Chennaiyin FC, NorthEast United made a mindblowing comeback after being down by 3-1 in the 35th minute to a 3-3 draw in the first half and winning the match by 4-3 at the end of the final whistle. After a good spell in the season, the club went on to qualify for the playoffs.
In the semi-finals, NorthEast United faced Bengaluru FC where they won the first leg of the semis in the dying moment of the game with a score of 2-1. In the second-leg, they traveled to Bengaluru with a win in the first-leg but had to taste beat against the home team by 3-0 and both the legs ended on an aggregate score of 4-2.
The team reached quarter-finals in the Super Cup after a fellow northeastern club NEROCA didn’t compete in the round of 16 hence, and giving NorthEast United a walkover. In the quarter-finals, they were drawn against Chennaiyin FC and lost the game by 1-2 and the journey of the Indian Super Cup came to an end.
NorthEast United FC 2019-20 Squad
The current squad of NorthEast United FC for the 2019-2020 season is as follows:
Head Coach: Robert Jarni
Goalkeepers: Pawan Kumar, Soram Anganba, and Subhasish Roy Chowdhury
Defenders: Provat Lakra, Mislav Komorski, Kai Heerings, Shouvik Ghosh, Wayne Vaz, Nim Dorjee Tamang, Rakesh Pradhan, Reagan Singh, and Pawan Kumar
Midfielders: Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Milan Singh, Redeem Tlang, Federico Gallego Uruguay, Nikhil Kadam, José David Leudo, Fanai Lalrempuia, Rupert Nongrum, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Panagiotis Triadis, and Lalengmawia
Forwards: Maximiliano Barreiro, Asamoah Gyan, and Martín Cháves