Friendlies: Chennaiyin FC record dominant wins over Gokulam; East Bengal FC suffer defeat
East Bengal FC faced Neroca FC in a closely-contested encounter, while Chennaiyin FC squared off against Gokulam Kerala FC in two friendlies during the international break.
Indian Super League (ISL) clubs are poised to resume action this Saturday, following a two-week international break. While the Indian national football team competed in the Merdeka Cup in Malaysia, ISL clubs took advantage of the break to regroup and prepare for Matchweek 4.
During this break, only two ISL teams, East Bengal FC and Chennaiyin FC, participated in friendly matches. East Bengal FC faced Neroca FC in a closely-contested encounter, while Chennaiyin FC squared off against Gokulam Kerala FC in two friendlies.
As the league returns this weekend, here’s a summary of how these clubs fared in their friendlies.
Chennaiyin FC 5-2 Gokulam Kerala FC (October 15)
Chennaiyin FC notched an impressive 5-2 victory over Gokulam Kerala FC in their first friendly at the Sri Ramachandra Centre for Sports Science on Sunday. Head coach Owen Coyle fielded a full-strength team, making four changes from their previous match against Mohun Bagan SG. Key players such as Rafael Crivellaro, Connor Shields, and Rahim Ali played significant roles in this triumph. Shields shone with a hat-trick, while Rahim Ali and Irfan Yadwad added to the scoreline.
East Bengal FC 2-3 Neroca FC (October 16)
East Bengal FC narrowly succumbed to a 2-3 defeat against Neroca FC in a thrilling five-goal contest at the East Bengal ground on Monday.
The Kolkata-based club predominantly featured their Indian players, with Hijazi Maher, the latest foreign recruit, being the sole foreigner in the lineup. Jordanian centre-back Maher made his debut for East Bengal FC, showcasing his skills.
Players like VP Suhair, Mobashir Rahaman, Edwin Vanspaul, and Gursimrat Gill, who had seen limited action in the ongoing ISL season, had the opportunity to shine. The club also introduced several reserve side players, including Tanmay Das, Mohammed Roshal, Jesin TK, and Mahitosh Roy. Guite Vanlalpeka and PV Vishnu found the net for East Bengal FC in what was a closely-fought contest.
The boys gained some valuable minutes in our friendly 🆚 NEROCA FC at the Club Ground this morning. Guite and Vishnu scored for us in the 3-2 defeat.— East Bengal FC (@eastbengal_fc) October 16, 2023
While Hijazi played his first match since joining us, the likes of Vishnu, Guite, Ajay, Kamaljit, Edwin, Mobashir, Gursimrat,… pic.twitter.com/J7hoXsPSmU
Chennaiyin FC 6-0 Gokulam Kerala FC (October 17)
Chennaiyin FC continued their dominant form by routing Gokulam Kerala FC in another friendly at the Sri Ramachandra Centre for Sports Science on Tuesday. Coyle stuck with the same starting eleven from their initial friendly victory.
The two-time ISL Cup champions displayed superiority at both ends of the pitch and maintained a clean sheet. Rafael Crivellaro played a pivotal role, providing two assists and setting up as many goals. Connor Shields was also instrumental, scoring a goal and assisting in two others. Lazar Cirkovic, Farukh Chowdhary and Jiteshwor Singh contributed to the onslaught, culminating in a commanding performance for Chennaiyin FC.
With these friendly encounters behind them, both East Bengal FC and Chennaiyin FC will be eager to translate their preparations into success as the ISL action resumes.