Super Cup: Vineeth, Jeje score as Chennaiyin beats Mumbai

C.K. Vineeth opened the scoring for Chennaiyin with a brilliant long-range curler in the 42nd minute while Jeje Lalepkhlua doubled the lead with a well-worked goal.

Chennaiyin FC players celebrates the win over Mumbai City FC.   -  Special Arrangement

Chennaiyin FC booked its passage into the quarterfinals of the 2019 Super Cup with a well-played 2-0 victory over fellow Indian Super League side (ISL) Mumbai City at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

C.K. Vineeth opened the scoring for Chennaiyin with a brilliant long-range curler in the 42nd minute while Jeje Lalepkhlua doubled the lead with a well-worked goal.

Mumbai City was toothless in attack as it failed to break down Chennaiyin’s defence.

The match started on a cagey note with both sides battling it out in midfield with chances at a minimum during the opening exchanges.

Raynier Fernandes of Mumbai City and Isaac Vanmalsawma of Chennaiyin caused the most danger with their pace and trickery.

Read: John Gregory intent on winning a trophy

The first real opening of the game fell to Jeje. The forward picked up the ball near the edge of the box and with Lucian Goian standing up to him, he created a yard of space for himself before firing a left-footed shot which went wide of the far post.

A few minutes later, Chennaiyin had another good opportunity to break the deadlock from a set-piece. Isaac’s free-kick from just outside the box seemed to be heading for the back of the net, however Ravi Kumar was at hand to prevent it.

The Islanders failed to muster up any clear opportunities in the half, with Raynier Fernandes’ long-range shot the only effort which tested the palms of Karnajit Singh.

Just when it looked like the half would end goalless, Vineeth opened the scoring with a sumptuous finish.

The 30-year-old found space outside the penalty box, turned and then fired a shot, which flew into the top corner.

A minute later, Jeje doubled Chennaiyin’s lead with another neat finish. This time the Mizo sniper got on the end of a well-placed cross from Thoi Singh, before efficiently guiding the ball into the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

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John Gregory’s unit was riding high on confidence with the lead and nearly scored a third within minutes of the second period.

It was Vineeth once again testing the Mumbai defenders with his clever movement. He managed to find a few yards of space from 25-yard-out before unleashing a fierce drive, which forced Ravi Kumar into a fine save.

Mumbai continued to struggle in the second half, failing to break down Chennaiyin’s resolute defence.

Goian came closest to pulling a goal back for Mumbai when his long-range attempt nearly creeped into the far post. 

That proved to be the only notable attempt for Mumbai as the likes of Mailson Alves and Eli Sabia held their fort well to ensure that Chennaiyin finished with a clean sheet.

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