Chennaiyin’s comeback win: what the fans say

It's time for celebrations for the fans of Chennaiyin, who registered a remarkable come-from-behind victory in the ISL final.

Elano clicks a selfie with the Chennaiyin fans.   -  M. Moorthy

It was five-thirty in the evening. There were around 1,500 brown plastic chairs spread across the Centenary Auditorium at the St. Bede’s Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School.

As the evening grew, the brown slowly turned into blue, as Chennaiyin FC fans – sporting the team’s ink blue jersey – thronged the hall, anticipating their heroes’ arrival.

The team, coming back from the verge of defeat, beat Goa 3-2 on Sunday evening. Now, it was the time for celebration.

The fans – most of them youngsters – couldn’t stop chatting about it. The murmur rose to a crescendo as Jayesh Rane entered the hall. He waved at the crowd and the roar increased by a few decibels.

The cheers grew as the rest followed. It was deafening when the team’s marquee player, Elano Blumer waved at the crowd from the stage. Most of them abandoned their seats and piled at the bottom of the dais. Armed with mobile phones, they rushed to the bottom of the 66-foot stage, trying to click a selfie with their favourite stars.

The team, seemingly overwhelmed by the fans’ reaction, entertained them by singing and dancing. Chennaiyin FC owners – Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani – thanked the crowd and dedicated the victory to the fans.

Sportstar caught up with a few fans and here’s what they had to say:

Shakeel, member of Super Machans (Chennaiyin FC fan club): I had messaged on a few WhatsApp groups to watch yesterday’s match. Most of them have never followed football until yesterday. But after the match, all these guys got back to me saying it was a wonderful experience and that they would continue to watch it. Being a member of Super Machans, there is nothing more that I can ask for.

Nandakumar, a Standard VIII student: It was amazing to watch the match yesterday. The moment Goa scored their second goal, I thought everything was over, but man, the way we (Chennaiyin) bounced back, it was incredible.

Vignesh, a collegian and an amateur footballer: I am a big football fanatic. I follow the English Premier League keenly. Living in Chennai, I have followed Chennaiyin FC from the beginning of the last season. They were consistent throughout the last season but unfortunately got knocked out in the semis. But to comeback from a precarious position and win the league was simply amazing.

Jai, an engineering student: Frankly, haven’t followed football very much. But I started to associate with the team as it represents my city. I am a huge fan of CSK. But I have also followed Chennaiyin’s matches. With CSK out, CFC (Chennaiyin FC) is the only major sporting team that represents the city. Also, I am starting to like football more and more. So, hope to see them doing well next season as well.