Elano, Mendoza inspire Chennaiyin FC to thumping win
Elano Blumer and John Stiven Mendoza inspired Chennaiyin FC to a thumping 5-1 win against fancied Mumbai City FC with a brace each at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai tonight. Jeje Lalpekhlua also got onto the score sheet for the hosts while Syed Rahim Nabi notched a consolation goal for the visitors late in the game by heading in a corner.
Chennai move to second on the table with nine points from their third win in four games while Mumbai remain in the sixth position with three points after succumbing to their third defeat.
Hero of the match and tournament top scorer with five goals, Elano opened the account with a penalty in the 9th minute and followed it up with a wonderful free kick in the 70th minute. In between, Jeje hit the target in the 26th minute after the Brazilian had lobbed the ball over the Mumbai defence. Mendoza, who tormented the Mumbai defence with his tricky runs, then netted two goals just before half-time.
The Colombian striker made the most of the opportunity after Mumbai goalkeeper Subrata Paul had clumsily parried an Elano free-kick. He scored his second of the evening when he latched onto a pass from the midfield and deftly whizzed past Paul to make it 4-0 at the break. The India goalkeeper however made a couple of good saves to keep down the margin of defeat.
Even though the away side had more possession and forced several corners, it was the home team who created more of the chances. The only notable chance for the visitors was when Nicolas Anelka, who made his debut in the tournament, put Subhash Singh through on goal but Shilton Paul got down well to stop the shot. Manager Marco Materazzi, who also made his first appearance for Chennai as a defensive midfielder, had a good outing before he was replaced by Bojan Djordjic in the second half.
Peter Reid will have a lot of thinking to do on the way back home with his team due to play Kerala Blasters in Navi Mumbai on November 5. On the other hand, Materazzi’s men are flying high and will face league leaders Atletico de Kolkata with confidence when they meet in the southern city on November 4.