Marcelinho brace helps Delhi Dynamos overpower champions Chennaiyin FC
Delhi Dynamos FC beat Chennaiyin FC 3-1 at in front of almost 22,000 fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai to kick-start their Hero Indian Super League 2016 season with a clinical showing against the defending champions. Marcelinho opened the scoring from the spot in the first half for Delhi before Dudu equalised for Chennai. The Brazilian forward got his second goal of the night shortly after Dudu’s equaliser to make it 2-1 at half-time. Super-sub Badara Badji sealed the win for the Lions in the 84th minute by heading in a Kean Lewis cross from the left.
The hosts had the first shot of the game in just the second minute of the match after Delhi gave away possession at the back. Baljit Sahni was quick to pounce on the loose ball and unleashed a stinging effort that forced Delhi keeper Toni Doblas into a save low to his right.
Bernard Mendy went close to making it 1-0 for the home side seven minutes later when he headed a Jayesh Rane corner just wide of goal. The Super Machans were at it again a minute later as Jeje Lalpekhlua took a first-time shot at goal that Doblas had to parry away from the danger area.
The visitors responded with a shot of their own in the 15th minute through Marcelinho. His attempt, however, was directed straight at Duwayne Kerr in Chennai’s goal. The Brazilian forward didn’t have to wait too long though to mark his Hero ISL debut in style.
A superb ball by the Lions from deep inside their own half found Milan Singh on the edge of Chennai’s box. The youngster controlled the ball brilliantly before being bought down by Kerr in the 18-yard box for a penalty. Marcelinho stepped up to the spot and sent Kerr the wrong way to make it 1-0 for the Dynamos in the 26th minute.
The Super Machans took just six minutes to equalise through Dudu after the Nigerian striker ran beyond the Delhi backline with the ball before powering in a left-footed shot past Doblas in goal to make it 1-1.
The euphoria in the stadium surrounding the equaliser didn’t last long though thanks to another delightful ball that played Marcelinho in on goal. He finished expertly again with a first-time effort to make it 2-1 for the Lions and leave the home faithful stunned. Marcelinho could have had a hat-trick before half-time but an alert Kerr was quick off his line to foil the danger as the Dynamos headed into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Delhi started to control the tempo of the match in the second half as the reigning champions went in search of their second equaliser of the game. Dudu nearly got his second goal of the night for Chennai near the hour mark after Doblas came charging off his line to clear a cross. The Spanish custodian failed to make a proper connection with his attempted clearance to give Dudu an opportunity to head into an open net. Dudu, however, failed to keep his header on target much to the relief of the Lions fans and Doblas in goal.
The result was put beyond all dispute in the 84th minute after Lewis cut in from the left flank to deliver a right-footed cross for substitute Badji, who headed past Kerr in goal to make it 3-1 for the Dynamos and help them start their campaign with a comfortable win over the reigning champions.
Club award – Delhi Dynamos FC
Amul Fittest Player of the Match – Baljit Sahni
DHL Winning Pass of the Match - Kean Lewis
Maruti Suzuki Swift Moment of the Match – Toni Doblas
ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Kean Lewis
Hero of the Match – Marcelinho