Chennaiyin return to winning ways with easy 2-0 win over Pune City
Chennaiyin FC had a happy homecoming as they beat FC Pune City 2-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday evening. Jeje Lalphekhlua put the home team ahead in the 44th minute before Davide Succi doubled the lead in the 51st minute to bring back the smiles on the faces of almost 20,000 home fans in attendance as the Super Machans bounced back from two consecutive defeats to move up to fifth with 13 points from ten games.
The match kicked off with the teams trying to launch successful attacks down the flanks. Raphael Augusto unleashed a shot from the right but it went wide. The home side finally started to dominate possession. However, despite creating many chances they failed to hit the back of the net. Pune too missed an opportunity as Anibal Rodriguez failed to find the target with his free-kick.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 44th minute with some brilliance from Chennai. Hans Mulder brilliantly turned past his man to find Jerry Lalrinzuala, who crossed it into the box. Succi guided it towards Jeje, who headed it past Edel Bete to ensure the Super Machans went into the break leading 1-0.
The second half began with Pune bringing on their last-match hero Eugeneson Lyngdoh. The move brought on a positive change with the Stallions keeping Chennaiyin goalkeeper Karanjit Singh on his toes. Jonatan Lucca’s shot was barely scraped away by the custodian before another deflected shot was kept at bay. Just as Pune seemed to be knocking on the door, Chennai struck again to double their lead.
Augusto ran down the right and then combined with Jeje to put a cross into the box only for Succi to head it home and make it 2-0 six minutes into the second half. The goal forced Pune into desperation mode. Narayan Das and Yumnam Raju tried to find the target but failed in their efforts. Chennai’s hold on the game tightened with Augusto putting on view his incredible dribbling skills.
The game continued in the same vein as both teams made a couple of changes. Jesus Tato and Momar Ndoye were brought on with Pune looking desperately for goals. But Chennai didn’t give them an inch as they dictated play, making the opposition run around without the ball. John Arne Riise was brought on to keep the clean sheet as Augusto got a standing ovation while coming off.
The final minutes saw substitute Ndoye cutting in to put a ball through a defender's legs to find Dramane Traore but the Malian’s shot went over the crossbar and that summed up Pune’s evening. The resolute Chennai defence held on as the Super Machans gained all three points and kept a clean sheet in the process.
Club award: Chennaiyin FC
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Davide Succi
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Raphael Augusto
Maruti Suzuki Swift Moment of the Match: Jeje Lalpekhlua
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Jerry Lalrinzuala
Hero of the Match: Raphael Augusto