Chennaiyin FC secure narrow win over NorthEast United in the Indian Super League

(Football news) Chennaiyin FC defeated NorthEast United 2-1 in an Indian Super League clash at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. A defensive error led to Lallianzuala Chhangte breaking the deadlock for Chennaiyin FC in the 44th minute. However, the jubilation was short lived as NorthEast United pulled a goal back in the 50th minute through VP Suhair, the 29 year old capitalized on Chennaiyin goalkeeper’s poor position to score the equalizer. The hosts did manage to secure a win thanks to a goal by captain Anirudh Thapa in the 74th minute which sealed the win for Chennaiyin FC.

For NorthEast United, Uruguayan midfielder Federico Gallego returned to the starting XI for the first time this season alongside Mathias Coureur. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC head coach Božidar Bandović picked Narayan Das at center back and Jerry Lalrinzuala at left back. Despite a brief moment of brilliance by Lallianzuala Chhangte who beat Subhasish Roy Chowdhury to score the opening goal, Chennaiyin FC were largely dominated by NorthEast United in the opening exchanges. The Highlanders kept threatening the Chennaiyin defense with Gallego, VP Suhair and Laldanmawia Ralte getting opportunities to keep the hosts on their toes. However, Gallego could only last 24 minutes as he was substituted due to injury again and with Deshorn Brown already missing, Khalid Jamil had to go in for an added defender and brought on Pat Flottmann as a replacement.

Vishal Kaith saved Suhair’s header from a long throw-in and Hernan Santana’s attempt went inches above the crossbar. Chhangte’s counter-pressing from the right finally paid dividends when Reagan Singh squared the ball into the box and Khassa Camara mistimed the interception leading to Chhangte slotting the ball into the back of the net after it deflected off the bar. With NorthEast United a goal down after the half-time break, head coach Khalid Jamil made two changes which proved to be immediately effective as VP Suhair guided the ball past Vishal Kaith after a long throw-in by Provat Lakra, With 40 minutes still remaining and the scores level, both sides were still in the clash.

NorthEast United had a golden opportunity squandered as Lalkhawpuimawia shot wide despite having an empty net in front of him while Gurjinder Kumar’s long range effort took a deflection off Slavko Damjanovic. After an hour mark, Rahim Ali’s through ball found Mirlan Murzaev who found the back of the net but the goal was ruled offside. The game was decided by Chennaiyin FC’s captain Anirudh Thapa as a long ball from Murzaev found the midfielder who sprinted past his marker Camara and restored the home side’s lead with a ferocious shot, thereby sealing the victory.

Also read: Maharashtra beat Arunachal Pradesh 6-0, TN thrash Telangana 20-0


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