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ISL 2019-20: NorthEast United FC Sack Robert Jarni, Announce Khalid Jamil as Interim Head Coach

ISL 2019-20: NorthEast United FC Sack Robert Jarni, Announce Khalid Jamil as Interim Head Coach

News18 Sports

Guwahati: NorthEast United FC parted ways with head coach Robert Jarni after having already dropped off the race in the Indian Super League (ISL) top four. On Monday, the Highlanders took the field with Jarni at the helm as they were held to a 3-3 home draw by Jamshedpur FC in his last match in charge.

NEUFC in their release announced that assistant coach Khalid Jamil will take over as the interim coach until the club identifies a suitable replacement, with just three matches left in the league.

Jarni, who is a FIFA World Cup 1998 semi-finalist with Croatia, was appointed as the coach of NorthEast United FC leading up to the season and started his time in India on a positive note, as the Highlanders remained unbeaten in their first six matches of the campaign, picking up ten points from these fixtures. Starting mid-December, 2019, however, injuries to several key players, particularly Ghanaian icon Asamoah Gyan derailed the Highlanders’ charge to claim a semi-final spot for the second season running.

In the following nine games, Jarni managed to secure just three draws, with the lack of positive goal scorers hurting the team dearly. At the time of Jarni’s departure, the club is rooted one place above the bottom spot with 13 points from 15 games with no chance of finishing in the top four.


— NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) February 10, 2020

Despite the underwhelming results, however, Jarni’s willingness and courage to give youngsters game time even when the chips are down, have helped unearth several future stars from within the NorthEast ranks. The likes of Ninthoi and Lalengmawia have particularly benefitted under the Croat’s tutelage as they emerged as silver linings in NorthEast’s otherwise disappointing season so far. While 19-year-old Lalengmawia’s maturity and composure on the ball at the middle of the park has earned plaudits from pundits, 18-year-old Ninthoi’s flair down the wings has been an exciting watch for not only the NorthEast faithful, but Indian football fans as well.Acosta was in the thick of things again when he received a corner-kick in the centre of the box and directed it towards the goal but his solid strike bounced off the crossbar.

The visitors eventually equalised for the second time in the game in the 82nd minute. Acosta redeemed himself after receiving the ball outside the box and unleashed a brilliant, curling strike that flew past the extended gloves of Subhasish and into the net.

The NorthEast defence lacked the composure to see off the game and lost their cool in the final 10 minutes. Jamshedpur pressed hard and claimed the lead from a free-kick. Memo stepped up and struck a powerful effort into the net.

Jamshedpur, however, were dealt a blow when Farukh was punished with a second yellow card for his reaction to a bad tackle. A minute after the send off, NorthEast equalised.

Memo failed to clear a routine delivery into the box and Leudo scored with a powerful hit that bulged the net and made it 3-3, capping an exciting game.

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