As it happened: Jeje sends Chennaiyin through to AFC Cup 2019 group stage

Tune in for live score and updates from the second leg of the AFC Cup 2019 qualification playoff between Chennai FC and Colombo FC.

Chennaiyin FC needs Raphael Augusto needs to fire against Colombo FC.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the second leg of the AFC Cup 2019 qualification playoff between Chennaiyin FC and Colombo FC.

 

Aggregate score: Chennaiyin FC 1-0 Colombo FC

FULL TIME! Chennaiyin FC is through to the group stages of the AFC Cup 2019. It's a chance to turn around a disastrous domestic season for John Gregory and his team that finished at the bottom of the ISL table. Jeje sendws Chennaiyin through.

92' What a shot! Isaac cuts in a strikes the ball with power but Fernando dives to make a good save.

90' There will be five minutes added on. Can Chennaiyin see this through?

89' Jeje's header is straight at the goalkeeper. He was offside, anyway. But what a ball from Augusto - he's been the main man for Chennaiyin tonight.

87' Chennaiyin with another chance to counter at the end of a Colombo corner but Jeje's pass to Vineeth is not even close to the striker. Vineeth, who's feeling his hamstring comes off for Germanpreet Singh.

85' Chennaiyin is doing well to keep the ball and frustrate its opponent which is searching for a spell with the ball. 

82' The crowd's convinced it's a goal but the referee has pulled it back for a foul on the goalkeeper. Jeje could have scored earlier if he had managed a better touch. Augusto still dominating midfield.

80' A Colombo FC player is down on the pitch, needing medical attention.  Duckson Yogendran is being stretchered off.

76' How did he miss that?! Wonderful one-two at the edge of the box between substitute Anirudh Thapa and Isaac but Thapa can't get his shot away. The goalkeeper does well to make it hard for Thapa who was clear on goal.

73' Chennaiyin is trying to kill the tempo of the game and keep the ball as it tries to defend this slender lead.

71' Colombo comes close to equalising after a mistake from Karanjit in goal, but he manages to keep the resulting shot out. Colombo finally seeing enough of the ball.

70' Chennaiyin starts another counter but it's stopped in its tracks. The difficulty of the task has doubled for Colombo which needs at least two goals without reply to go through. We'll definitely have a winner at the end of 90 minutes because of the away goals rule.

68' GOALLL! Jeje puts Chennaiyin ahead.  A costly mistake from the Colombo FC defender as Tondonba plays in a deceiving and looping ball. It falls to Jeje who makes no mistake slotting it in the right corner.

63' Two big chances inside a minute go begging for Chennaiyin FC. Augusto makes the most of an error from Niran and plays a good cross in. It falls to CK Vineeth who takes time to shoot and the goalkeeper charges at him to reduce the angle and keeps out the shot. Jeje's header at the end of another cross is agonisingly close.

62' Colombo has managed to slow things down at the moment.

59' Chennaiyin will be hoping it's not another match where it has failed to make the most of its chances in a disastrous season. So far, only the team from Chennai has looked like taking the lead.

57' CK Vineeth with another chance as Chennaiyin FC gets closer and closer to scoring! He takes Thoi Singh's cross well and shoots on the volley but it's high. That would have been a wonderful goal had he managed a better shot.

55' Another chance for Chennaiyin! Thoi Singh shows great strength and speed to get past the defenders on the flank and plays it in but can't find a teammate. Isaac's corner is played into a good position but it's cleared.

52' Chennaiyin almost scores! Again. CK Vineeth starts the move with a brilliant through ball to Thoi Singh. Thoi finds Vineeth in the box but his header is nowhere near goal.

50' It's Isaac with a shot but it doesn't get past the wall. Chennaiyin's even appealing for a handball and penalty. Not much in it though.

49' Christopher Herd wins a free-kick in a good position for Chennaiyin FC. Augusto was in the thick of things again, creating the move that ended in the free-kick.

47' Both teams are looking to get the lead early in the second half. Augusto is at the centre of things again. He tries to play in CK with a clever ball but it's cleared.

HALF TIME

There have been no dearth of chances in the first half. Chennaiyin had the higher share of chances, coming so close to scoring on more than one occasion. But Colombo hasn't been far behind either.

45+1' Mailson Alves with a looping ball in towards Jeje and Vineeth but Colombo goalkeeper Fernando catches it easily.

42' What a chance to grab the lead for Chennaiyin! Raphael Augusto with a brilliant ball over the defence to find Jeje. Jeje lays it off for Thoi Singh, but he can only manage a weak touch on it. Colombo clears it. 

41' Good play on the right wing from Chennaiyin. Laldinliana plays it to Thoi who plays a good ball in but Colombo's defenders get there in time. 

35' And quickly at the other end, Isaac finds Thoi Singh with a good ball but he header from a tight angle is straight at the goalkeeper.

35' Colombo FC looking dangerous here. It wins four corners on the trot. Karanjit deals with it well and Chennaiyin begins a counter-attack.

33' Colombo gets a indirect free-kick inside the box for a backpass to Karanjit Singh. Seka's shot takes a deflection and goes over.

31' The frequency of chances building on both ends now. After Colombo's shot on target, CK Vineeth had a chance at the opposite end.

29' Colombo comes close! Fazal with a fine attempt from the edge of the box through a group of bodies but it's just wide.

27' Tondonba with a brilliant tackle on the right flank to check a good run from Niran.

25' Raphael Augusto with a shot from distance but the 'keeper touches it out for a corner.

24' Colombo FC's Isaac Addevu with a shot from close range on the volley. Karanjit does really well to keep that out. That had a lot of sting on it. The resulting corner in a good one with its cleared.  Colombo easing into this.

21' Chances aplenty for Chennaiyin. Laldinliana plays a good cross in and Niran gets ahead of Jeje just in time to head it out of play.

19' A good tackle at the edge of the box stops Raphael Augusto's marauding run and a good spell of play from Chennaiyin.

15' Another counter attack gives Chennaiyin its best chance yet. CK Vineeth takes it past his man with a soft touch and plays Thoi down the right wing. He plays a good cross in towards Isaac who just couldn't manage a touch on it.

14' Chennaiyin FC tries to attack on the counter after thwarting a Colombo corner.

12' Christopher Reed gets a yellow card for a full-blooded challenge, completely missing the ball and taking out the player.

10' Raphael Augusto looking brilliant on the ball. He stitches together a good move ending with a shot from Vineeth but it's blocked.

9' Chance for Colombo FC to open the scoring as Tagne Dimitri runs down the flank and squares it but it blocked.

6' CLOSE! It's a good ball in and the dangerous (and blonde) Mailson Alves gets his head on the end of it but its wide. Chennaiyin has dominated play early, keeping the ball in the opponent's half.

5' The first yellow card of the day for Colombo FC's Chalana Chameera's tackle on Thoi Singh and Chennaiyin has a free-kick and a chance to put the ball in.

3' Raphael Augusto tries to play in Isaac but wins a corner. It's a dangerous ball in but Colombo heads it out of the box and it falls to Chris Herd who shoots from distance, but its blocked.

Here's are the starting line-ups:

Colombo FC: L. Fernando; Seka Jean, C. Chameera, Niran, Isaac A., Aakib, Afeel Nawshad, Tagne Dimitri, Charitha, Duckson Puslas Yogendran, Mohamad Fasal

Chennaiyin FC: Karanjit; Renthlei, Mailson, Sabia, Tondonba; Herd, Thoi, Augusto, Isaac V.; Vineeth, Jeje

 

First leg score: Colombo FC 0-0 Chennaiyin FC

PREVIEW - Chennaiyin aims for redemption

After finishing at the bottom of Indian Super League with an all-time league low tally of nine points, Chennaiyin FC now has a shot at redemption when it hosts Colombo FC in the second leg of its 2019 AFC Cup playoff stage qualification clash at The Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

The Colombo Lions, which bagged three successive Sri Lanka Football Premier League titles from 2015-18, held Chennaiyin FC to a goalless draw in the first leg at home on March 6 and the tie now remains anybody's game. 

Though his side lacked serious attacking intent in Colombo, Chennayin coach John Gregory felt it was important that the team did not concede. “It's good to come away from a difficult afternoon. It was a real opportunity for them to try and beat us and they made it really hard for us. The confidence isn't flowing with us [right now], but we need to step up tomorrow night. Our boys are geared up, hope we can get a victory,” he said in the pre-match conference.

The Englishman went on to add how the humid conditions took a toll on his players. “It wasn't easy for us going to Sri Lanka. The high temperatures and the pitch was a problem. The players suffered because of the heat and one player had a concussion in the first half and cannot remember the game at all!”

Australian defender Chris Herd, who missed the first leg owing to illness, is back in the squad and will give the team more stability at the back. Dhanpal Ganesh, who trained with a heavily strapped knee, was expected to feature in the tie but Gregory has ruled him out for Wednesday's game.

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From Left to Right: Colombo FC defender Charitha Bandara Rathnayake, head coach Ruwan Priyantha Kumara, Chennayin FC's Chris Herd and coach John Gregory at the press conference ahead of the tie.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

Colombo FC coach Ruwan Priyantha Kumara feels his side is in good stead heading into the must-win encounter. “We are happy that we came here three days ago and have had three practice sessions. We have 5-6 national team players and they know what they have to do. Both teams need goals tomorrow and hopefully we can go through to the group stage,” he said.

Kumara is on the cusp of making history as a win against Chennaiyin FC would make Colombo FC the first Sri Lankan team to reach the AFC Cup group stage. However, the odds don't exactly favour the visiting side. The last time Colombo had reached this stage in 2017, it lost 4-2 on aggregate to Mohun Bagan.

Kumara hopes to set the record straight on Wednesday. “We have come here step by step. We are three-time champions (Sri Lankan League) and have made a step by step improvement. We lost to Mohun Bagan the first time we played but gained experience from that game. We know Chennaiyin's weaknesses and we will play accordingly,” he said.

Jeje Lalpekhlua was part of the Bagan squad that prevailed over Colombo in that tie. Though he didn't score then, he will be eager to get on the scoresheet after a dismal ISL season that saw him score a lone goal.

Gregory reinstated that he has no plans of remaining with the club post this season. It might be extended a little longer if Chennaiyin FC advances to the group stage.