In an intense battle, it was NorthEast United FC that fell to the might of Chennaiyin FC at Fatorda on Sunday. With this victory, Chennaiyin register their 2nd successive win of the campaign. Moments of individual brilliance handed CFC the win. Meanwhile, NEUFC did begin the tie strongly but fell short after the initial 30 minutes.
It was Lallianzuala Chhangte and Anirudh Thapa who found themselves on the scoresheet. Chhangte drew first blood 41 minutes in with a remarkable finish. Bolting down the right in a counter, the winger latched onto a loose touch and slammed it home off the crossbar
Just 9 minutes later, NorthEast United would draw level with Chennaiyin FC. VP Suhair punished an error by Vishal Kaith find the back of the net. Moments later, donning the armband, captain Thapa (74′) put the game to bed with a splendid strike.
NORTHEAST FC : PLAYER RATINGS
Coach: Khalid Jamil
Goalkeeper: S. Chowdhury (5.5/10)
Defenders: P. Lakra (6/10), Hernan (6.5/10), M. Shereef (6/10), G. Kumar (6/10)
Midfielders: P. Gogoi (6/10), K. Camara (6.5/10), F. Gallego (7.5/10)
Forwards: L. Ralte (5/10), M. Coureur (6/10), V. P. Suhair (7/10)
Substitutes: P. Flottmann (6.5/10), Rochharzela (6/10), M. Singh (6/10), Lalkhawpuimawia (7/10), S. Singh (5/10)
CHENNAIYIN FC : PLAYER RATINGS
Coach: Božidar Bandović
Goalkeeper: V. Kaith (6.5/10)
Defenders: R. Singh (6/10), S. Damjanovic (7/10), N. Das (7/10), J. Lalrinzuala (7/10)
Midfielders: A. Thapa (7/10), A. Borysiuk (6/10), M. Murzaev (7/10), V. Koman (7/10), L. Chhangte (7.5/10)
Forwards: R. Ali (5/10)
Substitutes: E. S. Vanspaul (4.5/10), N. Meetei (5.5/10), L. Gikiewicz (4.5/10)
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
With a strong showing, it was Chennaiyin winger Lallianzuala Chhangte who was awarded Hero of the Match. Sharing his thoughts on the tie, Chhangte: “It was a blessing from God and we need to keep the momentum going. (On all goals by Indians) It gives us confidence and shows that not just the foreign players, but we can also do it (score goals)“.
Just 13 minutes in and the first real opportunity fell to Lallianzuala Chhangte. Playing as an inverted winger, he chased down a ball on the right flank, cut inside and fired. The attempt was to go for placement, to slip in at the near post. However, an alert keeper was up for the challenge.
It was in the 41st minute that Chhangte grabbed the advantage for his side. Making the most of a sloppy clearance following a set-piece, he nicked the ball off Camara. Taking a touch, he unleashed a screamer, hitting the crossbar’s underside and beating goalkeeper Subasish Roy Choudhary.
Chennaiyin FC will aim to build on their perfect start to the campaign when they host SC East Bengal on December 3. Meanwhile, NorthEast United FC are still in search of a win, now targeting the tie against FC Goa a day later.
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