NorthEast United FC has kept its playoffs hopes alive for the 2020-21 Indian Super League, following a 2-1 win over 10-man SC East Bengal, at the Fatorda Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday. While NEU is up to fourth place with this win, SCEB lurks at ninth.

It all began with Suhair VP's opening goal for NEU in the 48th minute. Meanwhile, Sarthak Golui scored an own goal, seven minutes later, to double the lead for NEU. While Raju Gaikwad was sent off in the 71st minute after receiving his second yellow card, Golui pulled one back for the side in the 87th minute, but to no avail.

Following the game, NEU boss Khalid Jamil was mighty impressed with his side's performance and has backed it to pass the one last hurdle to qualify for the playoffs. "It was a very difficult game. In this situation, the opponent will always play a hard game. We are thinking about our points and the next game, and that is the most important thing for us," he said reports, goal.com.

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"The players are working very hard, everybody is working hard and I am very happy to get the three points. I am not nervous, but there was pressure. But, I believe in my boys. We have one last hurdle. We must work hard to get a positive result," he added.

Meanwhile, SCEB assistant Tony Grant has backed the side to be aggressive in the upcoming transfer window to get big players to stand a chance to compete next season. "We tried young players, we had Jeje up front and none of them had enough; they never had enough. So, recruitment is always key and these are the players we have had all season, and this is the best they have looked. We weren't ready early in the season, now they had a chance and they had to show us, but they couldn't show us," he reckoned, reports Goal.

"We sort of controlled the game in the first half. I didn't see them really cause us many problems. The goal came from a long ball. There was a little bit of lack of concentration. It was a rubbish goal to give away. It is all down to concentration and understanding of the game. We had a 20-minute spell where the lads fell apart and then got back in the game. The goal is not a good one to give away, but it also highlights the capabilities of some," he concluded.