Valskis bags a brace as Chennaiyin beat Hyderabad
Chennaiyin FC moved to seventh in the Hero Indian Super league (Hero ISL) 2019-20 standings after a 3-1 win against Hyderabad FC at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Friday. Rafael Crivellaro and Nerijus Valskis scored for Chennaiyin in the first half, and the Lithuanian striker added a third in the second period. Marcelo Pereira pulled one back for Hyderabad late in the game.
- Chennaiyin broke the deadlock in the 40th minute thanks to Rafael Crivellaro.
- The two-time champions doubled their advantage through Nerijus Valskis two minutes before halftime.
- Valskis also scored Chennaiyin’s third goal of the night after the hour mark.
- Marcelo Pereira scored a late consolation for Hyderabad FC.
The visitors could have gone ahead after just five minutes when Andre Schembri found himself clear of Hyderabad’s defence with just the goalkeeper to beat. Schembri’s shot, however, was well-saved by Kamaljit Singh, who stood tall to deny the Maltese frontman.
Smart attempt from @andreschembri27 but Kamaljit Singh is swiftly off his line to thwart the @ChennaiyinFC attack!— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) January 10, 2020
Watch #HFCCFC LIVE on @hotstartweets- https://t.co/MDl30coTJU and JioTV. #ISLMoments #HeroISL #LetsFootball pic.twitter.com/3MGkgZkVBJ
The hosts came close to taking the lead themselves in the 19th minute after a cross from the left by Nikhil Poojary found Nestor Jesus Benitez on the edge of the box. The Spanish midfielder managed to produce a venomous effort, but his attempt was off target. The hosts then upped the ante and forced Chennaiyin’s goalkeeper Vishal Kaith into a couple of saves to first deny Marcelo Pereira and then Marko Stankovic within a span of four minutes.
Chennaiyin responded with a venomous shot from Crivellaro that required Kamaljit’s intervention just before the half-hour mark. The two-time champions eventually went on to take the lead five minutes before halftime following a lapse at the back by Asish Rai, who conceded possession to Valskis in front of the penalty box. The Lithuanian striker unselfishly squared the ball for Crivellaro and the Brazilian obligingly slotted the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 for Chennaiyin.
The Marina Machans went on to double their lead three minutes later as Schembri turned provider for Valskis, who feigned and turned inside the box before executing a brilliant finish with his left foot past the goalkeeper to make it 2-0 for the visitors at halftime.
Like the opening period, Chennaiyin’s first chance of note in the second half went to Schembri. Once again, the Maltese forward failed to find the back of the net by hitting the ball over the crossbar on this occasion.
However, his strike partner Valskis had no such difficulty and got his second of the night in the 65th minute. This time, Valskis picked up a loose ball inside the box and made half a yard of space for himself before rifling his effort into the far corner.
Hyderabad tried to fight their way back into the contest and they did score a consolation late on. Stankovic put Marcelo Pereira in on goal and the Brazilian finished emphatically to deny Chennaiyin a clean sheet. Valskis also had the chance to score a hat-trick in the dying moments of the match but some last ditch defending prevented that from happening.
Hero of the Match – Nerijus Valskis
The 32-year-old was at his lethal best against Hyderabad and deservedly won the Hero of the Match award. He assisted Crivellaro for Chennaiyin’s first and then scored with his left foot first before bagging his second with his right. Valskis also created four chances for his teammates.
Club Award – Chennaiyin FC
Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Rafael Crivellaro
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Rafael Crivellaro
ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Lallianzuala Chhangte
Hero of the Match – Nerijus Valskis
Watch the match highlights here: