IaLeague newbies Chennai City FC made a statement by shocking the high-flying Aizawl FC with a 2-0 win over the visitors in a scintillating encounter at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in Chennai.
Two-second half goals from Marcos Tank and Charles D Souza ensured valuable 3 points for Chennai City FC coach Robin Charlesa men at home taking them to 4 points.
Robin Charles Raja made two changes in the Chennai City lineup with Darrein Caldeira and Abhra Mondal coming in. The big newsAwasAthe omission of Karanjit Singh who apparently picked up a niggle. More importantly, captain Dharmaraj RavananAwasAruled out and Haroon AmiriAstepped upAin the defense besides Echezona.
Khalid Jamil, Aizawl FC coach, meanwhile,Aopted to go in with the same team that started in the 1-0 win against Mumbai FC away.
The game started on a drab note with both sides sending across a plethora of long balls and punts forward.
It seemed Aizawl and Chennai City were trying to build some rhythm without much effect. The first chance of the game, though, went Chennai Cityas way when Rajuas good cross into the box fell to Edwin on the edge of the area. The winger, though, completely miscued his attempted volley.
To make matters worse, Chennaias Brazilian forward Charles de Souza missed a sitter in the 30thAminute. Marcos Tank didAwell to maneuver some space for himself down the left and delivered an accurate cross which only needed a touch by Charles from point blank range.But the forward triedAa scissor kick and miscuedAthe ball.
Though Aizawl slowly grew into the game, there were no other clear cut opportunities for both teams as the first half ended on level terms.
Dramatic Second Half
The second period started with Chennai City on the ascendancy and the home side grabbed the lead in the 53rdAminute out of nowhere.AA ball forwardAwas picked up by Tank whoAwasAat least 25 yards outAfrom goal but the BrazilianApausedAand struck an effortAtowards goal. The shot had pace andAit dipped into the goalAover the goalkeeper who did not move a muscle.
Aizawl were shocked by that goal and started attacking with intensityAand started creating chances to equalise. Al Amnaas top-corner bound shot was palmed over by Abhra Mondal before Lalruatthara headed a cross onto the cross bar, much to the frustration of manager Khalid Jamil.
But the game would see dramatic moments in injury time. First, Chennai City were awarded a penalty after Kingsley brought down Charles who received the ball inside the box after a fantastic corner. The referee pointed to the spot and Charles stroked the ball down the middle to seal the tie for Chennai City.
But there were ugly scenes in the immediate aftermath as Prasanth was tackled by Kingsley on another counter which led to theAChennai players takingAoffence. It sparked a huge melee with almost all players getting involved in it. Kingsley and Lalruatthara picked up bookings for the same while Amiri also went into the refereeas book.
The incident did not take the sheen out of Chennaias victory which is their first ever win in the I-League. The South Indian side will now face Shillong Lajong away on Tuesday while Khalid Jamilas side, whose unbeatenArun has ended, face a home tie against DSK Shivajians in Mizoram.