Two of the lowest scoring teams in the Indian Super League – Northeast United FC and Delhi Dynamos FC go head to head today. The age old phrase ‘goals win games’ is very apt here. This is why I think that we may not see a goal today. At best, what you can hope for is a solitary goal scored either by individual brilliance or a mistake.
Northeast United FC Have a Small Sliver of Hope
Northeast United FC are in a better position than Delhi Dynamos FC. The Highlanders can break into the top 4 with a win but they’ll have to buck the trend to do so because they are the team with the least number of goals in the league.
They are in a better position simply because Delhi Dynamos FC are stuck in a rut and are neither scoring goals nor keeping them out well. At least, Northeast United have the best defence in the league. All that Northeast United FC need to claim the 4th spot is a win. They don’t have to worry about goal differentials either. A win with a single goal would do it for them.
Northeast United FC’s performance in the league hasn’t been all that bad and it’s only because of a string of bad luck and missed chances that they’re in the position that they are. They’ve shown themselves to be a solid outfit which doesn’t dither from hard work. They press, they tackle, and they work very hard for each other. I wouldn’t be surprised if some statistic somewhere says that they’re the fittest team in the league too. They’re simply full of running all over the pitch.
It’s just this attitude that may take them to the 4th spot today. Even their coach seems to have a good head on his shoulders. He recognises his team’s failings. In his press conference, he said that he’ll try to get his team to play attacking football and take whatever chances they create. Fitting too because it’s all about whether they convert their chances or not.
Also, don’t forget that Northeast United FC have one of the most vocal following in the country. The 8 states have truly united behind their team. What does it matter if their team doesn’t have stars of the pedigree of Robert Pires, Alessandro Del Pierro, Elano, Luis Garcia, Nicolas Anelka, David Trezeguet or even the crocked Freddie Ljunberg.
The Lost Cause i.e. Delhi Dynamos FC
For Delhi Dynamos FC, I believe it should be lights out today. Their last showing was dismal and I don’t think even Alessandro Del Pierro could turn their fate around now.
They are five points adrift of the last qualifying position in the league for the playoffs and are 3 points off the 7 position in the league i.e. Northeast United FC. Just to overhaul today’s opponents, they’ll need to win by a margin of 2 goals which I think is beyond them.
Harm Van Veldhoven of Delhi Dynamos FC is asking his players to serve up a miracle. He wants his players to pull an FC Pune City or even FC Goa – both teams that were languishing at the foot of the table not that far back. He said in his conference that his team needs to string together a couple of wins and go on a winning streak. Unlikely.
You’re most probably thinking that if it’s been done before it can’t really be a miracle but I assure you that in Delhi’s case it will be. FC Pune City and FC Goa both were playing well even though they were propping up the table. Delhi Dynamos FC has no such silver lining to their dark cloud. They are playing badly, period.
The coach even came up with a couple of sorry ass excuses i.e. back to back games and injury to key player (read Del Pierro). They are sorry ass excuses because if you look at the other teams, you’ll see that they too are in the same boat.
For an example, I serve you Chennaiyin FC who’ve not only played back to back games without their most key players but have played marvellously well. They sit pretty at the other end of the table from Delhi Dynamos FC. If Delhi Dynamos FC wanted to be atom bombs, they’ve ended up being what we in India call a fussi (a failed bomb, a dud).
You’re right if you think I’m being hard on Delhi Dynamos FC’s players but I have reason. I would’ve liked to support my city’s team. I can’t because of the way they’ve played. No, I’m not a glory seeker. I just like good football.
You will remember that I was behind FC Goa when I noticed their game even though they were bottom of the table. Granted, I was tempted to ditch FC Goa after my first viewing mainly because their gameplay was impotent and Stoke like but in the 2nd match I saw them play and wanted to support them. I like good football and Delhi Dynamos FC are simply not up to the mark. I am also especially disappointed because I would’ve loved to support my city. All I can think of them now is: Bah! Humbug!
p.s. there may not be a match report today because I’m finding it very difficult to motivate myself for the evening’s match.