Bombolim (Goa), 13 January (IANS). Two-time champions Chennai FC beat Odisha FC 2–1 at the GMC Stadium in Bombolim on Wednesday to finish fifth in the points table of the seventh season of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). The third win of the season has given Chennai a three place advantage.
This was the 11th match for both teams. Chennai have so far collected 14 points from three wins, five draws and three defeats. On the other hand, this is Odisha’s seventh defeat. He has 6 points from a win and three draws in his account and is at the bottom of the 11 teams table.
Two goals in the span of six minutes helped Chennai take a strong 2–0 lead by the end of the first half. The first goal of the match was scored in the 15th minute, while the second goal was scored in the 21st minute.
Chennai kept constant pressure and got the advantage. Ismail Goncalves, who scored the first goal, had a chance to score in the eighth minute before that too but he missed. In the 15th minute, however, he made no mistake and taking advantage of Gaurav Bora’s mistake, he broke the deadlock by punching Jamshedpur goalkeeper Arshadip Singh.
Gaurav made another mistake in the 20th minute which cost his team heavily. A penalty was awarded against his team for dropping Anirudh Thapa in the box. Bora’s foul was so severe that the referee did not delay the penalty. Goncalves scored on it, making it 2–0.
This half was special for Chennai, as the team which had scored only 8 goals in the 10 matches so far has indicated a comeback by scoring two goals in the first 21 minutes. Odisha, however, got a good chance in the 26th minute to reduce the goal difference but they missed. Shubham Sarangi could not aim right on the corner taken by Jerry M. from the left side.
In the first 15 minutes of the second half, there was no big chance for both the teams. One player from each team was booked. Odisha started this half with two changes. Sarangi of Odisha got 48th and Jerry Lalrinjuala of Chennai got yellow card. In the 61st minute, Lalianzuala Changte’s effort deflected off the defender and went directionless. Chennai then made two changes in the 66th and 67th minutes.
Irrespective of this, Odisha continued their efforts and in the same sequence, they were scored in the 64th minute by Super-Sub Diego Maurosio opening Odisha’s account. Diego scored a brilliant goal from outside the box, bringing Odisha back on the road. Cole was Alexander’s assist in this goal.
Rahim Ali of Chennai was booked in the 71st minute. Odisha made another change in the 77th minute. Nandakumar Sekar was taken inside. In the 79th minute, Thoi Singh of Chennai came into the referee’s bad book. Chennai had a chance to get a two-goal cushion in the 80th minute, but captain Eli Sabia’s header on Thapa’s pass could not go in the right direction.
Chennai took out Rahim in the 87th minute to take on their goal scorer Jakub Sylvester. Odisha team was putting all the strength to score an equalizer and mistakes were also being made in this order. Steven Taylor received a yellow card in the 90th minute.
After this, Odisha could not achieve parity in injury time and had to face the seventh defeat of the season.
EZA / SGK
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