Chennai City FC start their I-League campaign with a win in their first game. Chennai defeated Gokulam Kerala FC 2-1 in the Southern Derby at the Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal on Saturday evening.
Although Chennai won the game, Gokulam Kerala took the lead two minutes in. Dennis Antwi scored following a quick corner. However, halfway through the first half, Chennai got a penalty.
Elvedin Skrijelj equalized from the spot after 26 minutes. Then their left winger Vijay Naggapan put them 2-1 up which was the final score.
Gokulam Kerala FC 1-2 Chennai City FC Team News
Gokulam’s head coach Vincenzo Annese started with a 4-3-3 formation. Pa started in goal and Awai and Saji as the centre-backs. Thangmuangsang and N. Singh started as fullbacks. Their midfield included Lalromawia, Mayakkannan, and Antwi. New signing Philip Adjah led their line with Barreto and Ronald on either wing.
Chennai coach Satyasagara started with a 4-5-1 formation. Thaufiq started as the goalkeeper. In front of them Nagappan, Lourdusamy, Advic, and Molerovic started in defence. Then they had a five-man midfield with Shankar, Dhas, and Harikrishna through the middle and Elvedin and Boopathi as wide midfielders. Lastly their lone forward was Hussain.
Gokulam Kerala FC 1-2 Chennai City FC Post Match Analysis
The 2019 I-League champions did not have a great start to the game. They conceded a corner and a quick corner caught them off-guard and Antwi scored the opening goal. T
hen the game had some end to end action. Hussain came close with his free-kick. Then Philip Adjah’s shot from outside of the box went wide. Then Chennai’s Serbian player Vladimir Molerovic was brought down in the penalty box.
Elvedin Skrijelj slotted the ball home calmly with a left-footed strike. Before half-time, Ghanaian Antwi missed a header which could’ve put the Malabarians in front.
In the second half, Satyasagara’s team started pretty well. They took only five minutes before finding the back of the net again. Left-back Vijay Naggapan played a one-two with Demir Avdic after shooting the ball into the net.
After a few minutes, Gokulam’s Vincent Barreto found himself inside the box with the ball landing at his feet. But the forward missed the chance to equalize for his team.
The defence of Chennai stood firm after they took the lead. However, after the hour-mark, Philip Adjah was put through on goal following a counter-attack. But the 22-year-old striker’s shot was parried away by Thaufiq. Annese’s side tried their best to turn things around in the later stages of the game but solid defending by a compact Chennai side saw them fail to do so.
Chennai City FC held on and won the Southern Derby after a solid performance by their whole team. They showed great courage to fight back from an early deficit and win the game against a strong Gokulam side.
Vijay Naggapan: The Chennai City left-back had a great game. He defended pretty well in the match. However, his winning-goal was certainly a thing to remember following a fine one-two with Demir Avdic.
Dennis Antwi: Although Gokulam lost the game, their Ghanaian player Antwi played a good game. He put the Malabarians in front just after three minutes. He also linked up with Adjah quite well. However, had his header gone in just before the break, his team might have come out with a win.
Now, in their next games, Gokulam Kerala FC face RoundGlass Punjab FC on January 14, while Chennai City FC lock horns against Real Kashmir FC a day later.