ISL: Chennaiyin beats bottom-placed Hyderabad to stay in playoff contention

Nerijus Valskis' brace helped Chennaiyin FC register a 3-1 away win over Hyderabad FC to move above Kerala Blasters and NorthEast United in the ISL standings.

Rafael Crivellaro scored Chennaiyin FC's opening goal against Hyderabad FC.   -  K.V.S. Giri

It was a familiar script with bottom-placed Hyderabad FC suffering yet another embarrassing defeat, this time a 1-3 loss against former champion, Chennaiyin FC, in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the GMC Balayogi Stadium on Friday.

Chennaiyin took the lead in the 40th minute, thanks to the brilliance of Rafael Crivellaro, who showed fine opportunism to position himself at the right spot inside the 18-yard-box for a perfect cross from the right by Nerijus Valskis to beat a diving Kamaljit Singh.

And, just before the break, Andre Schembri was lightning quick on the right flank to pick up a long ball from the midfield and sprinted a few yards towards the top of the box to give a quick and short pass to Valskis, who cleverly dribbled further towards the left-flank and then executed a beautiful left-footer which beat the diving goalkeeper.

Equal to the task

Not the kind of first-half the host would have hoped for when it had its chances. But, it was obvious Chennaiyin defence, manned by Lucian Goian, Eli Sabia Filho and Jerry Lalrinzuala, was equal to the task the few times Hyderabad FC forwardline, especially the omnipresent Marcelo Pereira, threw up a challenge.

In the second-half, Hyderabad was on the offensive from the word go but it badly needed Marcelinho to break the shackles again.

Highlights | Valskis hits brace as Chennaiyin beats Hyderabad 3-1

And, against the run of play, it was Chennaiyin which took a 3-0 lead in the 65th minute when Valskis scored deftly from close range.

Finally, Marcellinho was on target with another of this typical runs down the centre with a stinging left-footer in the 88th minute. But, it was too late to change the outcome.

The result: Hyderabad FC 1 (Marcelo 88) lost to Chennaiyin FC 3 (Crivellaro 40, Valskis 43 & 65).

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