PANAJI: Saransh Jain and Emaad Jameel Ahmed teaming up for NorthEast United FC have emerged victorious in the second season of the eISL after defeating Sagnik Banerjee and Charanjot Singh from Bengaluru FC by 2-1 in the finals.
BFC had started strong by winning Game 1 by a dominant margin of 4-1. They looked set to clean sweep the NEUFC duo in Game 2, which ended up goalless and was then followed by a marathon penalty shootout.
However, Emaad and Saransh held their nerves to overcome the stiff challenge by 8-7 in the shootout and levelled the game at 1-1 before entering the decisive and final Game 3. It was a riveting, end-to-end contest that saw the scores being tied at 2-2 right until NorthEast managed to sneak a goal past the Blues and then hold on to that slender lead right until the end to take home the eISL trophy courtesy a 2-1 victory.
NorthEast have been the standout performers this season and that reflected from their performances prior to the showpiece game on Sunday as well. They had rolled over their counterparts from Kerala Blasters by an aggregate of 4-1 across two legs in the semi-finals. The Highlanders had clean swept the first leg by winning 3-0 and then managed to sneak in another 2-1 win in Game 2 of the second leg to gain an unassailable 4-1 lead that paved their way to the finals of this competition.
Sagnik and Charanjot from Bengaluru too had battled intense competition from FC Goa in their semi-final faceoff. Both the legs of their final four clash had gone down to the wire with the Blues securing a 2-1 victory each time to proceed ahead to the finals by a margin of 4-2 eventually.