Chennaiyin FC started its season on a confident note downing its Indian Super League rival Hyderabad FC 3-1 in the group E league fixture of the 132nd Durand Cup football at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati on Thursday.
Chennaiyin’s two high-value acquisitions Jordan Murray and Connor Shields proved their worth as they found the target once each while the third strike for Chennaiyin came as an own goal by the Hyderabad defender Alex Saji. Chingelsana Singh was the only scorer for Hyderabad FC, which fielded a side without any foreign recruit.
Making a return to his first ISL club, Chennaiyn FC manager Owen Coyle saw that the team got back its winning form right at the start of the season.
Hyderabad FC enjoyed the initial exchanges and earned a penalty which was converted by its captain Chinglensana Singh. Before Hyderabad could build on the early lead, Chennaiyin found the equaliser in the sixth minute as the opposition defender Saji deflected forward Farukh Choudhary’s cross into his own goal.
Chennaiyin went into the lead in the 15th minute when Murray took advantage of a faulty clearance from the Hyderabad goalkeeper to set up Shields, who made it 2-1. Murray sealed the match in Chennaiyin’s favour just after the break as he scored from an assist from Ayush Adhikari.
The group A match between I-League champion Roundglass Punjab FC and the visiting Bangladesh Army ended in a goalless draw at the Salt Lake Stadium.
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