I-League: Muzangu injury-time strike takes Chennai City past Churchill

Chennai City FC scripted a fine victory to hand Churchill Brothers a 2-1 defeat and climb to the fifth spot on the I-League table.

Jan Muzangu

Jan Muzangu's (R) injury-time winner saw Chennai City beat Churchill Brothers 2-1 in the I-League on Sunday.   -  Twitter @ChennaiCityFC

Jan Muzangu emerged Chennai City FC's saviour as his injury-time winner led the defending champion to a 2-1 victory over Churchill Brothers in the I-League on Sunday.

The game looked like it would end a draw until the 84th minute, but turned on its head in the last 10 minutes, with all three goals coming in that period.

Katsumi Yusa gave Chennai City the lead against the run of play in the 85th minute, which was neutralised two minutes later by Mizo striker Mapuia’s third goal of the season. Muzangu then put it beyond the host, with his first I-League goal with the game deep into additional time.

The win took Chennai City's tally to 14 points from 10 games and to the fifth spot on the I-League table, while Churchill remains seventh with 13 points from nine matches.

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Churchill had an early sight at goal but failed to trouble the Chennai City 'keeper, while the visiting side centred its attacks through Muangu. The visitor had the lion’s share of possession but the home side had more shots on target till the half-way stage.

Churchill’s Trinidadian striker Willis Plaza, who failed to impress in the first half, had a good chance at the start of the second half as Portuguese Socrates Pedro played him inside the box, but Plaza's chip was well-saved by Chennai City 'keeper Nauzet Santana.

Dawda Cessay had two more shots at goal and and Plaza hit the cross-bar with a header as the home side pushed for a winner. Churchill coach Bernardo Tavarez expectedly threw in the likes of Israel Gurung and Mapuia to help out the trio of Cessay, Pedro and Plaza up front in their pursuit of a winner.

 

The opening goal came as Fito played a fine ball from just inside the Churchill half towards Katsumi, with the latter timing his run to perfection. The Japanese made no mistake with a clinical finish past Kithan to put his side ahead.

Churchill struck back two minutes later as Glan Martins found Plaza inside the box, who squared it to Ponif Vaz over on the right flank. Ponif’s cross saw Mapuia rise above his marker to lob a header over Santana and draw parity.

However, there was late drama as Muzangu struck in the third minute of injury time. Vijay played Muzangu through, and the latter raced inside the box, getting past one defender and away from another, to slot it past Kithan and earn his side a crucial win.

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