Hyderabad FC secured their first win of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 campaign as the Thangboi Singto-coached team defeated Chennaiyin FC by 1-0 in their backyard at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium tonight.

In an encounter where forwards from both sides created numerous goal-scoring chances, Hyderabad FC returned as the happier unit as the Marina Machans were handed a massive blow amidst their aspirations to qualify for the playoffs.

The crossbar of both goalposts was rattled multiple times, but the eventual breakthrough came in the form of Sajjad Parray netting the winner amidst an overcrowded Chennaiyin FC box in the 89th minute of the contest.

Chennaiyin FC had several chances to get a foot ahead in the match, with their attacking trio of Ninthoinganba Meetei, Vincy Barretto, and Farukh Choudhary teaming brilliantly with Brazilian playmaker Rafael Crivellaro to take shots at Hyderabad FC custodian Laxmikant Kattimani.

Twelve minutes into the game, Crivellaro carved open the Hyderabad FC backline for Meetei on the right side of the 18-yard box. The winger received the ball well but shot on the outside of the net from a fairly narrow-angle. Nearly 11 minutes later, Barretto brought down a long ball on the outside of the box and squared up a pass for Farukh Choudhary who was taking his position on the left flank. Farukh shot from his first touch, but Kattimani got an important touch at the ball as it deflected off the crossbar to keep the scores level.

It was Hyderabad FCs turn to return the favour, with the likes of Makhan Chothe and Abdul Rabeeh taking the game to the opposition, and exploiting spaces left vacant by the Chennaiyin FC defence on the brink of the half-time whistle. Chothe had notched a strike in the previous game but tonight he turned the provider, taking the ball wide deep on the left flank before curling in a cross for Rabeeh at the centre of the box. Rabeeh attempted a shot off his head, but as fate would have had it, the ball again hit the post!

Thankfully for Sajjad, his shot from a long ball in the 90th minute was shot straight into the back of the net. Hyderabad FC began taking their chances as the game entered its final phases, putting numbers ahead, knowing that Chennaiyin FC would be desperate to find the back of the net and hence a defensive error from the home teams end was likely. Sajjad received the ball with his right foot and merely slotted it past Debjit Majumder to bag Hyderabad FCs maiden win of the campaign.

Late in the added time, Mohammed Rafi was sent off for the visitors, but the job was all done for them by then. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC continues to languish in the 11th spot after this loss, with four games and 12 points still left for them to play for in the rest of this campaign.

Key Performer of the Match

Sajjad Parray (Hyderabad FC)

Sajjad played 20 passes and completed 10 of them in this match. He made a tackle and an interception each, in addition to being an industrious presence in the backline, making nine clearances and scoring the winner in the 90th minute.

What’s next for both teams?

Hyderabad FC will play their next game against Mumbai City FC on April 1, whereas Chennaiyin FC returns to action against the Mohun Bagan Super Giant on March 30.

Brief Scores

Hyderabad FC 1 (Sajjad Parray 89) 0 Chennaiyin FC

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