I-League: Chennai City FC notch up maiden win against Aizawl FC

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Chennai, Jan 28: Debutants Chennai City FC notched up their maiden victory in the I-League with a 2-0 drubbing of high-flying Aizawl FC in a scintillating encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here today, January 28.

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Two second half goals from Marcos Tank (53rd minute) and Charles D Souza (90+3) ensured that Chennai City secured three points from their home match.

Chennai City FC players celebrate (Image courtesy: I-League Twitter handle)

Coach Robin Charles Raja made two changes in the Chennai City lineup with Darrein Caldeira and Abhra Mondal coming in.

The big news was the omission of Karanjit Singh who apparently picked up a niggle. Captain Dharmaraj Ravanan was ruled out and Haroon Amiri stepped up in the defense besides Echezona.

Aizwal coach Khalid Jamil, meanwhile, opted to go in with the same team that started in the win against Mumbai FC.

The game started on a drab note with both sides sending across a plethora of long balls and forward moves. It seemed Aizawl and Chennai City were trying to build some rhythm without much effect.

The first chance of the game, though, went Chennai City's way when Raju's good cross into the box fell to Edwin on the edge of the area.

The winger, though, completely miscued his attempted volley. Chennai's Brazilian forward Charles de Souza then missed a sitter in the 30th minute.

Marcos Tank did well to maneuver some space for himself down the left and delivered an accurate cross which only needed a touch by Charles from point blank range.

But the forward tried a scissor kick and miscued the ball. Though Aizawl slowly grew into the game, there were no other clear cut opportunities for both teams as the first half ended scoreless.

The second period started with Chennai City on the ascendancy and the home side grabbed the lead in the 53rd minute out of nowhere.

A ball forward was picked up by Tank who was at least 25 yards out from goal. But the Brazilian paused and struck towards the Aizawl goal.

The shot had pace and it dipped into the net over the goalkeeper who did not move a muscle. Aizawl were shocked by that goal and started attacking with vibrancy and had chances to equalise.

Al Amna's top-corner bound shot was palmed over by Abhra Mondal before Lalruatthara headed a cross onto the cross bar, much to the frustration of coach Jamil.

But the game would see dramatic moments in injury time. First, Chennai City were awarded a penalty after Kingsley brought down Charles who received the ball inside the box after a fantastic corner.

The referee pointed to the spot and Charles stroked the ball down the middle to seal the tie for Chennai City.

But there were ugly scenes in the immediate aftermath as Prasanth was tackled by Kingsley on another counter which led to the Chennai players taking offence.

It sparked a huge melee with almost all players getting involved in it. Kingsley and Lalruatthara picked up bookings for the same while Amiri also went into the referee's book.

PTI

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