I-League: Brazilian magic wins it for Chennai City

A wonderful goal from Charles de Souza sealed all three points for the home side as Chennai City FC best Mumbai FC 2-1. The encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium was a must-win game for both teams as either side was enduring a barren run.

Charles De Souza of Chennai City FC (right) and Djelaludin Sharityar of Mumbai FC in action during the I-League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday.   -  M.Vedhan

A wonderful goal from Charles de Souza sealed all three points for the home side as Chennai City FC best Mumbai FC 2-1, at home in the I-League on Saturday.

The encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here was a must-win game for both teams as either side was enduring a barren run, particularly Mumbai which came into the game on the back of five consecutive losses.

This was V. Soundararajan first match as manager for Chennai City and he tinkered with the team, preferring to play a 4-4-1-1 formation with Charles de Souza leading the line with Michael Rejin playing behind him.

As he said in the previous match presser, Marcos Vinicius (Tank) was dropped to the bench. However, it was Mumbai that made the brighter start and it's efforts at goal paid off in the 28th minute.

The visiting side was gifted a penalty after Chennai handled inside the box and Brazilian striker Anderson da Silva sent 'keeper Shahin Lake Meloli the wrong way. Unbelievably, this was Silva's first touch of the game as he had come on as a substitute just a few minutes earlier.

However, the host restored parity almost immediately after a corner (Edwin Sydney Vanspaul) from the right flank found a rising Dhanapal Ganesh, who's powerful header had the Mumbai keeper rooted to the spot.

In the second half, both teams were desperately looking for the winner and after few chances between both sides, the 69th minute provided the difference in the game.

Brazilian de Souza, with his back to the goal on the right side of the penalty box, flicked over defender Djelaludin and took him out of the equation. With only the keeper to beat, the Brazilian toe poked the ball past the keeper and into the empty net sending the home fans into ecstacy.

The host held on until the end as this victory helped it to seventh position with seven points, and in the process leapfrogging Mumbai which slumped to eighth with six points.