Chennaiyin FC registered their first home win of the season in front of nearly 10000 fans gathered at the Marina Arena to watch the city’s team beat Jamshedpur 3-1.
The fixture gor underway with Jamshedpur kicking off from right to left to the backdrop of an unfurled banner commiserating the passing of 17-year-old footballer Priya, who was a unfortunate victim of medical negligence. ‘Sorry Priya’ read the tifo remembering the teenager who lost her life due to organ failure arising due to multiple complications after being admitted to treat an ACL injury.
Chennaiyin coach Thomas Brdaric made some drastic changes to the squad as he started with no less than four chances from the unit that started the previous game against Mumbai City FC at the same venue.
Vafa was back to claim his position as the team’s stopper back after serving his suspension. Sourav Das, Sajal Bag, Jockson Das were all handed starts.
CFC started on a positive note as they launched an attack in the third minute of the game that culminated with Petar Sliskovic running down the left near the goal line and pulled a low hopeful cross into the centre of the area. The trouble was averted by the JFC custodian as he put his body on the line to get in between the service of the Croat.
JFC earned a corner at the five-minute mark only to seel the ball sail over the top of the bar following a mistimed shot.
JFC had a half chance as a run down the right was pulled back to the centre in hope of finding the feet of a striker clad in white, but skipper Fallou was on hand to clear the danger.
CFC tried to hit on the counter through Prasanth as he collected the ball near the halfway line and ran with it till the edge of the penalty area to play the ball in. JFC defenders made it difficult for the home team forwards to get a shot away as the chance came to nothing.
CFC earned a free kick near the half line as Jay Emmanuel Thomas of JFC brought Sliksovic down. A well worked training ground routine from the set piece found its way to the feet of Fallou at the edge of the area who unleashed a shot with real venom. JFC were lucky to get away unscathed as the ball sailed just over the post,
A fourteenth minute attack from the visitors had the home crowd anxious but the defence held steady to thwart the move and ensure the scoreline wouldn’t be altered as early, at least not to their disadvantage.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Wellington Priori’s evening came to an early halt as he was stretchered off the field to be replaced by Seiminlen Doungel.
Jockson Das ventured down the right and pulled one back into the middle of the box, but no one was at the end of it to connect.
Sliskovic dropped deep to turn away from his marker near the halfline and tried to play Prasanth through on goal as he nearly spotted the gap between two defenders, but couldn’t squeeze the ball through as he would have liked.
Sliskovic was released down the right and he did well to thread the ball in towards an onrushing blue shirt with perfect weight on the ball, but it accounted to nothing as CFC couldn’t find the edge to put the ball in the back of the net.
Chennaiyin took the lead in the 27th minute as Juluis Duker won the ball in midfield before releasing Das on the right. The young forward’s shot was blocked by JFC keeper Rehenesh Thumbirumbu but the deflection was straight at Sliskovic as the Croat nodded in from close range to raise the noise level at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Ajith Kumar was brandished a yellow card for his foul on Boris Singh in the 36th minute of the game on the left and the resulting free kick had the home support worried as the Vafa’s block sent the ball just wide of the post.
Vafa was shown a yellow for a rough challenge on Farukh Choudhary outside the penalty box at the 45-minute mark as the fourth official signaled 2 minutes to be added on.
The first half drew to a close with the home team entering the tunnel with a slender lead after the first period.
The second period started in similar fashion with CFC trying to push the issue with some focused play in the centre of the park. There was one halftime change for Jamshedpur as Aidy Boothroyd decided to bring in Harrison Sawyer in place of Muhammed Uvais.
CFC could have doubvled their advantage in the 55th minute as Prasanth’s shot was blocked by Rehenesh from a one on one situation after Prasanth sold a dummy to get past the defender.
With sixty-four minutes on the clock, Brdaric decided to bring in reinforcements in the form of Jobby Justin and
Edwin Vanspaul to replace Sajal and Jockson Das while the Ritwik Das replaced Thomas for the red miners.
The move almost paid off as Edwin’s first touch of the game was a looped effort which dipped just beyond the post.
Brdaric was getting animated as he asked the home crowd to raise the volume as CFC went in pursuit of a second.
Sliskovic won the ball back to play Prasanth running down the line, who pulled it back into the centre just behind Duker. After some penalty box pinball, the ball fell kindly to the big Croat whose curler from outside the box went inches wide of the far post.
Ishan Pandita’s left footed effort flew miles wide as CFC curbed a Jamshedpur advance. But, the Indian forward made amends minutes later as he pulled the red miners level in the 76th minute.
Abdenasser El Khayati and Vincy Baretto were sent in to replace Sliskovic and Prasanth, and the change paid dividends as CFC went ahead immediately thanks to a first time volley from Baretto that found the net.
El Khayati put the game to bed with his brilliant goal in which he sold a dummy inside the box to twist a defender inside out before tapping the ball into the net in the 86th minute.
El Khayati got the fans to their feet as he was toying with the JFC defence down the wing before the referee blew his whistle to call the game to a close.
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