Chennaiyin add to Blasters’ woes

The hosts Chennaiyin started the game with purpose and stormed into the lead within four minutes thanks to Schembri’s tap in

Representative image. (DH Photo)

Chennaiyin FC secured only their second win of the season after defeating Kerala Blasters FC 3-1 in an engrossing Hero Indian Super League clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai, on Saturday.

Chennaiyin got an early lead through Andre Schembri (4’) before Bartholomew Ogbeche equalised for Kerala Blasters with a brilliant strike (14’). However, Lallianzuala Chhangte (30’) restored the lead in dramatic circumstances before Nerijus Valskis (40’) sealed a first win for new Chennaiyin manager Owen Coyle. All goals were scored in the first half.

The result sees Chennaiyin leapfrog Kerala Blasters into the eighth position while the visitors stretched their winless run to eight matches.

Kerala equalised ten minutes later through an Ogbeche thunderbolt but the game took a turn for the dramatic when Chennaiyin caught the Kerala defence off-guard with a quick freekick and Valskis struck. However, the goal sparked huge protests from the Kerala players and officials, with the referee eventually disallowing the goal after consultation with the linesmen.

However, Chennaiyin FC wasted no time and regained the lead immediately thanks to a well created move which ended with Chhangte scoring.

The third came when Kerala defence was caught napping and Chhangte lobbed over an onrushing Rehenesh and Valskis tucked it in. The match ended there and even the late sending off of Eli Sabia did not dampen the home side.

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