Chennaiyin FC dash Mumbai City’s semi-final hopes with 3-0 win
Chennaiyin FC kept their chances of making the 2015 Hero Indian Super League semis alive after a 3-0 win against Mumbai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday evening. Stiven Mendoza opened the scoring for the Super Machans before strikes from Jeje Lalpekhlua and Bernard Mendy sealed all three points for the southern-outfit as Mumbai’s remote chances of making the semis came to an end.
Both sides had to deal with tricky conditions as the rains hammered down ferociously in Chennai, making it difficult for the players to play their natural game on a drenched pitch. Mendoza, however, was unfazed by everything around him after Zakeer Mundampara played him through on goal for the Colombian to score with just nine minutes on the clock.
The Super Machans made it 2-0 eight minutes later when Thoi Singh guided Dhanachandra Singh’s cross straight into Lalpekhlua’s path for the 24-year-old to score his third goal in his last two games.
Mendoza nearly made it 3-0 soon after but for Mumbai goalie Subrata Paul, who managed to apply enough pressure to put off Hero ISL’s top-scorer this season. The Colombian was causing havoc for Mumbai’s defence and set up Thoi Singh near the half hour mark with another brilliant pass. Singh’s shot though failed to test the keeper as the score remained at 2-0.
Chennai had another golden opportunity to get their third goal three minutes before half-time when Mendoza was played through with just the keeper to beat. Paul once again came to Mumbai’s rescue to deny Mendoza his second of the night.
When they did eventually get their third, it came from one of the unlikeliest of sources in Mendy who scored his second of the season. Thoi Singh once again threaded through a picture-perfect pass which Mendy ran onto before chipping it over Paul to make it 3-0 at the stroke of half-time.
The visitors made a brighter start to the second half with Sony Norde forcing Apoula Edel into a save. Norde then set up substitute Selim Benachour in the 64th minute but the Tunisian sent his effort high above Chennai’s crossbar.
Norde tested Edel once again 12 minutes from full-time but the Armenian keeper was alert to the danger as he saved the Haitian’s initial effort before clearing the ball with his feet to keep his clean-sheet. The last chance of the game fell to Sunil Chhetri who rattled Chennai’s post as the game ended 3-0.
Club Award – Chennaiyin FC
Swift Moment of the Match – Stiven Mendoza [Chennaiyin FC] (Watch here)
Amul Fittest Player of the Match – Sony Norde [Mumbai City FC]
DHL Winning Pass [Chennaiyin FC] – Elano
ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Thoi Singh [Chennaiyin FC]
Hero of the Match – Bernard Mendy [Chennaiyin FC] (Watch here)