Chennaiyin FC edged past Hyderabad FC by 1-0 at the Gachibowli Stadium on Monday to secure their first win of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 campaign.

Chennaiyin kicked off the match on an upbeat note, with Scottish striker Connor Shields getting off the mark in the seventh minute of the game to bring up his first goal for the Marina Machans. Owen Coyle and his men needed an early boost in the contest to shoot up their confidence at Hyderabad's home turf. Shields orchestrated this move by dropping deep and drawing the home team’s backline towards him. He teamed well with Rafael Crivellaro, who then released the ball to Ankit Mukherjee on the right flank.

The 27-year-old cut into the box and squared off a pass to Shields that the striker slid in home to build up on the impressive goal-scoring prowess that he showed in the friendly games that Chennaiyin played in the international break. For the uninitiated, the 26-year-old had notched a hat-trick against Gokulam Kerala FC in one of those preparatory games and he built up on that terrific form with a sweet strike in this encounter.

Hyderabad had a nice passage of play soon afterward, but their inefficiency in front of goal coupled with some good shot-stopping from Debjit Majumder prohibited them from bagging the equaliser. Joe Knowles lined up a peach of a delivery for Aaren D'Silva inside the box, only for the 25-year-old to shoot it wide off target. Petteri Pennanen had a fantastic chance to draw the scores level four minutes later. The Finnish midfielder created space inside the Chennaiyin box with some smart footwork. D’Silva worked hard to deliver him a fine pass from close range but Pennanen was unable to get the ball past Majumder from a pretty narrow angle.

Majumder came to his side’s rescue once again as he was positioned well to stop a shot by João Victor getting into the back of the net. Vignesh Dakshinamurthy and Mohammad Yasir played some quick passes in the left flank before the latter crossed one in for Victor at the centre. The 34-year-old Spaniard possibly intended to catch Majumder off-guard with a long-range effort, but it was not to be tonight. Victor had another opportunity in the second half to notch Hyderabad’s opening goal of the night, but he ended up heading the ball off target. A few minutes earlier, Shields tried to seal the deal for his team with a formidable shot that hit the side of the net instead.

Key Performer of the Match

Connor Shields (Chennaiyin FC)

In addition to the goal, Shields played a crucial playmaking role for Chennaiyin FC as well. He created two goal-scoring opportunities, put in seven crosses, and even made an interception and a clearance each to put in an all-round performance against Hyderabad.

What’s next for both teams?

Hyderabad FC will now take on Mumbai City FC in the latter’s backyard for their upcoming league fixture on October 28. Chennaiyin FC will host Punjab FC on the following day, i.e. October 29.

Brief Scores

Chennaiyin FC 1 (Connor Shields 7’) – 0 Hyderabad FC

For more information, visit our match center: