I-league: Brazilians power Chennai City to first win

Chennai City FC banked on its Brazilian strike force to register its first ever win in the I-League as Marcos 'Tank' Vinicius and Charles de Souza were on target for the home side to beat Aizawl FC 2-0, here on Saturday.

Chennai City FC players celebrate after scoring the opening goal.   -  M.Vedhan

Chennai City FC banked on its Brazilian strike force to register its first ever win in the I-League as Marcos 'Tank' Vinicius and Charles de Souza were on target for the home side to beat Aizawl FC 2-0, here on Saturday.

The visiting side lined up in a 5-3-2 formation and dominated the initial proceedings albeit with little success.

After absorbing the early pressure, Chennai City got into its groove with the Brazilian duo of Tank and Charles proving to be the attacking catalyst for the home side.

Despite not having its most experienced players in skipper Dharmaraj Ravanan and 'keeper Karanjit Singh, the host wasn't daunted by the opposition which was sitting pretty in third position prior to the game.

Although chances were few and far between for the two sides in the initial exchanges, Chennai City should have bagged the first goal in the 31st minute. A loose ball just outside the box - after Aizawl's defence's sloppy clearance - found Marcos Vinicius unmarked. The ball fell kindly to him but somehow his volley whizzed past the right hand post. Aizawl custodian Albino Geovanni Gomes was rooted to the spot, but luckily for him he didn't have to pick the ball from the net.

After a few more chances were squandered, the teams went into the break with the scoreboard reading blank.

Second half started brightly for the home side and in the 53rd minute, it got the breakthrough it so desperately sought.

Edwin Vanspaul played in a pass down the middle to Tank, who turned around and looked for options. After Aizawl made the fatal mistake of not closing him down, the Brazilian let rip from nearly 30 yards out as the ball smacked off the crossbar and into the net. The crowd went delirious as it sensed history in the making.

However, this was the wake up call Aizawl needed and it stepped up a gear in search of the equaliser.

And it really should have restored parity in the 73rd minute when Jayesh Rane was found unmarked in the opposition box. A floated ball from the right flank found the Mumbai lad but his first-time volley flew above the crossbar. The visiting side had two more clear cut chances but it's inability to convert them haunted the team in injury time.

Chennai City sealed the deal in the third minute of injury time from 12 yards out. Charles de Souza was fouled in the box after he was put on though from a low cross from the right side.

A crunching tackle saw the Brazilian fall and the referee pointed to the spot. de Souza made no mistake with his penalty.

After the results, both teams remained rooted to their positions (Aizawl remained third with 10 points, Chennai City remains 9th with 4 points) in the table but Chennai will take massive confidence from Saturday's result as it goes into its travels for the next two fixtures.

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