Chennaiyin score twice in injury time to overcome Hyderabad

Chennaiyin FC got their first win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 after a dramatic 2-1 win against Hyderabad FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Monday. The two-time champions took the lead through substitute Andre Schembri in injury time before Matthew Kilgallon restored parity two minutes later. Chennaiyin, however, refused to give in and found the winner through Nerijus Valskis in the last minute of extra time.

  • Chennaiyin had a host of opportunities but failed to find the back of the net in the first half.
  • The Marina Machans struck the woodwork twice in the second half.
  • Andre Schembri came off the bench to score the opener before Matthew Kilgallon equalised for Hyderabad.
  • Nerijus Valskis scored the winner for Chennaiyin in the last minute of injury time.

The hosts saw more of the ball early on but failed to create too many chances. They began to look more threatening and started getting into Hyderabad’s box a lot more as the half progressed but couldn’t quite get any convincing shots on goal initially.

Chennaiyin, in fact, had to wait till the 22nd minute to get their first chance of note, which went to Edwin Vanspaul. The 27-year-old local boy picked up the ball near the edge of Hyderabad’s box before getting a shot away that Kamaljit Singh did well to save.

The Marina Machans had another big chance of breaking the deadlock three minutes later when Thoi Singh delivered a delicious cross from the right to an unmarked Lallianzuala Chhangte only for him to head wide of goal.

The home side also had a golden opportunity just after the half an hour mark when Chhangte’s pass from the left found its way to Anirudh Thapa. The Indian international managed to keep his effort on target but a combination of a half-save from Kamaljit first and then a clearance from Kilgallon on the goalline meant that the game remained goalless.

Chennaiyin continued to push forward for the remainder of the half and put Hyderabad’s defence and goalkeeper under a lot of pressure. However, it was the visitors that had the biggest chance to go in for the halftime interval with the lead after Robin Singh was played through on goal and had just the goalkeeper to beat. The Indian frontman, though, could only find the side-netting on his stronger left foot as the sides went into the break level-pegging at 0-0.

The two-time champions began the second half on the front foot and struck the post five minutes after the restart. Thoi’s shot across goal was on target and heading in without the intervention of Kamaljit’s fingertips and then the post. Kamaljit’s opposite number, Vishal Kaith was tested by Hyderabad in the 57th minute and he did well to save an attempt by Marcelo Pereira from a tight angle.

That said, Kamaljit was the busier of the goalkeepers and was called into action again just before the hour mark when he had to parry a Rafael Crivellaro shot from distance over the crossbar. Eli Sabia was next to try his luck from range for Chennaiyin and the Brazilian centre-back was unluck after his shot beat Kamaljit but struck the crossbar.

Chennaiyin looked more likely to get a goal in the last 10 minutes and were finally rewarded for their dominance in the second minute of injury time when super-sub Schembri picked up the ball in the box and rifled the ball low into the net to give the Marina Machans the lead.

However, Hyderabad showed character and resolve to strike back two minutes later after Kilgallon headed home a corner to make it all square at 1-1. Chennaiyin weren’t done yet, though, and ensured that they wouldn’t be denied their first win of the season after Valskis was played through on goal and slotted the ball low into the bottom right corner with virtually the last kick of the game to secure all three points.

Hero of the Match – Anirudh Thapa

Anirudh Thapa was all over the pitch and showed a lot of energy as well as dynamism against Hyderabad. He had 63 touches of the ball and created one chance, while also contributing in defence with two interceptions, two successful tackles, a clearance and a block.

AWARDS

Club Award – Chennaiyin FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Nerijus Valskis

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Andre Schembri

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Vishal Kaith

Hero of the Match – Anirudh Thapa

Watch the match highlights here:

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