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ISL 2020-21: NorthEast go fourth with narrow win over East Bengal

Suhair VP celebrates with teammates after scoring for NorthEast United against SC East Bengal. Arjun Singh / Sportzpics for ISL

Two goals in quick succession early in the second half helped NorthEast United FC beat SC East Bengal 2-1 and leapfrog Hyderabad to go fourth in the ISL 2020-21 table on Tuesday.

After a passive first half from both sides, NEUFC came to life after the restart, taking the lead through Suhair VP in the 48th minute and doubling it through Sarthak Golui's own goal just seven minutes later.

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East Bengal improved after going down, but their task got tougher after Raju Gaikwad was sent off in the 71st minute. Robbie Fowler's side continued to press despite going down to 10 men, and got a late consolation when Sarthak Golui made up for the earlier OG by pulling one back in the 86th minute.

The win takes NEUFC to 30 points, level with Goa and behind on goal difference. NorthEast, along with Hyderabad and Goa, remain in the hunt for the playoffs, but only a win against Kerala Blasters in their last game will guarantee them a top four place.

East Bengal, meanwhile, remain 9th, with just three wins from 19 games this season so far. They face bottom-placed Odisha FC in their final game on February 27.

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