I-League: CCFC finally tastes success at home

Captain Soosairaj quite deservedly walked away with the 'Hero of the Match' award.

Michael Soosairaj led CCFC from the front with two goals against his name. (File Image)   -  M. Periasamy

Captain Michael Soosairaj's double strike and Aleksandar Rakic's thundering left-footer saw Chennai City FC score a 3-1 win over Churchill Brothers, its first at home, in the Hero I-League clash at the Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.

CCFC preferred to rest its star striker Jean Joachim for the most part as the Frenchman looked out of sorts in the last few matches. It looked a sensible move as the forward line, this time around, comprising Rakic, Beautin Antony and Alexander Romario showed better understanding - a trait that was missing for a while.

Though the Churchill boys went on the rampage at the start, with some long passes and lightning-quick runs inside the danger area, it was CCFC which was rewarded with a double goal for the patience it showed on the field.

CCFC read the situation well and cut short the speed of the visiting side and then went for the counter. In the 24th minute, Soosai took the responsibility on his shoulders and boldly marched into the danger area, chipping in a crisp pass to Antony, who shot it wide.

Soosai continued to torment the Goan defence with his brilliant footwork. It did a world of good for the team as the forwards grew in confidence and finally found the net through Rakic in the 26th minute. The Serbian sent in a bullet-like shot for which Churchill custodian James Kithan had no answer.

Three minutes later, CCFC doubled the lead through Soosai. The captain charged in and fired at the goal. It looked a feeble shot but Kithan fumbled and the CCFC boys rejoiced.

It did jolt the Goan side to a great extent and its coach Alfred Fernandes made some quick changes to its bench.

With two goals in its bag, CCFC went flat out and was rewarded with the third in the 54th. It was Soosai who cashed in on a chance that came his way. Romario found enough space on the right and packed in a shot which Kithan failed to stop and Soosai swooped in to hammer it home.

It looked a lost battle for the Goan side but a consolation goal came its way through Osagie Monday in the injury time.

Soosai quite deservedly walked away with the 'Hero of the Match' award.

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