I-League: Miranda strike gives Chennai City winning start to title defence

New overseas signing Adolfo Miranda's 50th-minute strike helped Chennai City FC beat TRAU FC 1-0 to make a winning start to its title defence.

Adolfo Miranda (10) celebrates scoring the winner for Chennai City against TRAU FC.   -  M. PERIASAMY

Chennai City FC’s new foreign signing Adolfo Miranda struck home the winner in the host’s 1-0 victory over Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC (TRAUFC) in its I-League opening match at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday. The victory for Chennai City, however, might not have pleased its chief coach Akbar Nawas for the way its midfield and frontline performed. The defending champion’s defense, though, was top-notch.

After a barren first half, Miranda gave the seizable gathering of 8000-odd at the Stadium something to cheer about when the Spaniard’s left-footer from near the box found the back of the net. The goal was largely due to central defender Isinde Issac’s failure to make the clearance.

It could have easily been 2-0 in the 88th minute but for an unmarked  Pedro Manzi missing an easy chance. With just the ‘keeper Gurpreet Singh to beat, the striker's shot was tipped away by the custodian.

Read: Kisekka, Joseph fire Gokulam Kerala off to a winning start against NEROCA

There wasn’t much action in the first half with both teams putting up a lukewarm display. It can be argued that the CCFC was relatively better at least in terms of having more shots at the goal.

Pedro Manzi, the star of last season for CCFC, wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders. He did have his moments to score. He nearly did it in the 30th minute when his header off a beautiful cross from Ajith Kumar, who dribbled past two defenders on the right, richocheted off the crossbar only to be cleared.

As early as in the 10th minute, Jackson Dhas cross from the left saw Manzi miss the ball with his shot just near the goalmouth. Soon, Manzi was in the thick of things when a pass from Jackson saw the Spanish striker hit it over the post.

TRAUFC, the second division champion, was subdued for almost the entire first and second session. There wasn’t much the Ghanian and Brazilian forwards, Abednedo Kofi Tetteh and Marcel Silva could do. That said, the midfield of the visitor, too, left much to be desired.

Result: Chennai City FC 1 (Adolfo Miranda 50') bt TRAUFC 0

  Dugout videos