Chennaiyin FC gave their all against Bengaluru FC but still fell short as the Blues scraped past them with a 1-0 scoreline in Matchweek 14 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

The two teams fought with a do-or-die mentality as they both desperately needed the three points to climb up to a favourable position on the league table. In the 62nd minute of the match, Australian forward Ryan Williams bagged his third goal of the season giving Bengaluru FC a lead that the Marina Machans could never wipe out.

It was the third straight match in the ISL where Chennaiyin FC had failed to score and Brazilian midfield maestro Rafael Crivellaro is devastated with where they stand now concerning their performance but confides in his team that they will keep giving their best and bounce back, reigniting their chances of qualifying for the playoffs.

“The situation is not a good situation. We need to try for better results, that’s what our concern is. We are all sad with our performance and we are putting in a big effort, all the players are doing whatever but that was not enough. We should try, keep going and try to fix what is wrong. We are a team. All the players have their responsibility, so it's now our try to bounce back. We have a lot of home games and we still can be alive in the competition,” stated Crivellaro.

The veteran has been an instrumental part of Chennaiyin FC since his initial spell back in 2019. Returning to the Marina Machans from Jamshedpur FC in 2023, he continued right from where he left registering three goals and five assists in the ISL 2023-24 season. 

Chennaiyin FC have the worst defensive record this season with the highest number of goals conceded (23). 

Bengali defender Ankit Mukherjee who signed for Chennaiyin FC back in July 2023, believes that although the team did poor defensively at the beginning of the season conceding so many goals, they have currently managed to find balance.

“Defensively, I feel, we did lack at the beginning of the season but now we have more or less reached a balance. The coach trusts us a lot and it’s a process,” stated Mukherjee when speaking to indiansuperleague.com

The 27-year-old feels that his team is working hard to get better and as a result, did well against Bengaluru FC but the only mistake they made ended up costing them the match.

He said, ”We are working hard and today we even played well. The one chance that was caused by a miss-pass in the middle led to the goal. Apart from that, not many times did the ball come close to our goal and probably the only time that the goalkeeper actually needed to save the goal for our fault was the one where we conceded.”

Mukherjee started his football journey in Kolkata and stayed there throughout his career until his transfer to Chennaiyin FC. 

Elucidating on whether he noticed anything different in the football culture of Kolkata and Chennai, Mukherjee shared, “Here, in Chennai, it's the same (as Kolkata). Just like how there, the fans become happy when we win but then stop coming when we start losing, here also, it's the same. There is a slight difference but football in Chennai is growing pretty well.”