Kozhikode: NorthEast United FC marched into the semifinals of the Super Cup after a commanding 6-3 victory over Churchill Brothers in their last Group D match at the EMS Corporation Stadium on Wednesday.
Colombian striker Wilmar Jordan was the architect of NorthEast United's win, with four goals to his name. So far, he has scored six goals in the tournament.
In Group D, both NorthEast and Mumbai City FC finished with six points each, but the Guwahati side made the grade by virtue of their better head-to-head record.
In the first semifinal, Jamshedpur FC will play Bengaluru FC on Friday. The next day, NorthEast will cross swords with Odisha FC.
The supremacy of NorthEast United was never in question, despite the Goan side having more possession of the ball in the initial stages. Jordan was the Guwahati side's trump card, his very presence in the forward line created problems for the Churchill defence.
Jordan is a skillful striker and to add to it, his physical supremacy and ability to move through his markers make him more dangerous.
Given the way Jordan operated, he would have ended up scoring at least a hat-trick in the first half itself. Nevertheless, he scored two in the first 45 minutes and added one more within six minutes of the restart to complete his hat-trick.
After surviving three close calls on their goal, Churchill couldn't hold it anymore beyond the 27th minute. Jordan's goal was a stunner and goalkeeper Nora Fernandes had no answer to it.
Jordan left no warning for anyone and unleashed a long-ranger that crashed against the net at great speed.
In the 43rd minute, came the second goal. Nora had to take the blame for this to some extent as he was hopelessly out of position and Jordan was quick enough to pounce on the opportunity to score his second goal.
He completed his hat-trick in the 51st minute. The credit for this goal should also be shared with N Tondonba Singh, who left a perfect low cross at the goalmouth for Jordan to do the needful with a deft touch.
With a 3-0 lead, the match was already in NorthEast United's pocket. But there was a dramatic shift, albeit temporarily, with Churchill suddenly coming back to slam in two goals in a span of six minutes. However, that had no bearing on NEUFC.