I-League: Clinical Chennai City FC defeats Indian Arrows

Chennai City FC moves to the top of the points table with a 2-0 win over Indian Arrows.

After a goalless first half, Chennai City FC scored twice in the space of 20 minutes in the second.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Two second-half goals fetched Chennai City FC a hard-earned 2-0 victory over a spirited Indian Arrows in the I-League encounter at the Kalinga Stadium here on Friday.

Spaniard Sandro Rodriguez and substitute N. Vijay found the target as the much-needed win helped Chennai, which had lost its previous match to Real Kashmir, leapfrog Kashmir to the top spot with 33 points and stay in the title hunt.

Dogged resistance

Arrows deserved appreciation for fighting tooth and nail as a unit to keep a stronger opposition at bay in the first half, even as activity was mostly restricted to the Arrows’ half with Chennai pushing from both flanks. However, the young lads ran with purpose to tackle, intercept, block and clear the Chennai attempts and deny the visitor any free-flowing move.

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Chennai gathered several corners but could not find success, while Arrows banked on occasional counter-attacks from the right but hardly posed any threat.

Chennai was close to scoring at least on two occasions.

Sandro's free-kick in the 70th minute broke the deadlock. Photo: Biswaranjan Rout

 

Nestor Jesus beautifully lobbed it to set up Pedro Javier but the Chennai captain could not capitalise on the opportunity in the 27th minute. Pedro was again frustrated as he could not grab a chance close to the breather.

Breakthrough

Chennai applied more pressure in the second half and tasted success in the 70th minute. Sandro’s flat and powerful free-kick from just outside the box got deflected from custodian Samik Mitra, who did well as Prabhsukhan Gill’s replacement, into the Arrows goal in the 70th minute.

The opening goal broke Arrows resistance and Vijay slotted in a loose ball from close in the 90th minute to add some respectability to the scoreline. “We need to give credit to Arrows for the way they defended. We must look at ourselves — how we can create more chances and how can we be more clinical,” said Chennai coach Akbar Nawas.

The result
  • Chennai City FC 2 (Sandro 70, Vijay 90) bt Indian Arrows 0.

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