ISL: Chennaiyin on top after downing ATK

Second half goals from Mailson Alves and Jeje Lalpekhlua led Chennaiyin FC to a 2-1 win over defending champion ATK, sending the side to the top of the ISL table.

Chennaiyin FC's Jeje Lalpekhlua scores the winner against ATK on Thursday.   -  PTI

Chennaiyin FC returned to winning ways with a fine comeback in the second half with two goals to down the host and defending champion ATK 2-1, in an Indian Super League fixture here at the Salt lake Stadium on Thursday.

ATK went into the lead in the penultimate minute of the first half through Martin Paterson before Mailson Alves and Jeje Lalpekhlua score in quick succession the second half to turn things around for Chennaiyin. The win saw Chennayin tallying 23 points from 12 matches and moving to the top of the current standings.

MATCH CENTRE

A rather dull first half was lit up by a goal from Paterson, who was making his debut for ATK. A fine move down the left saw Jayesh Rane move to the edge of the Chennaiyin box from where the ATK forward sent the ball into the middle for Paterson.

The Northern Ireland international leapt up to deliver a strong header but Chennaiyin goalkeeper Karanjit Singh made a good save. Patterson was fortunate to get the rebound back and helped the ball into the net with his chest.



The rest of the opening half saw the two sides taking a cautious approach and testing each other with long-rangers. Chennaiyin came close to scoring in the 37th minute when Raphael Augusto set up Anirudh Thapa in the ATK box. The Chennaiyin midfielder fired a nice attempt but custodian Debjit Majumdar was equal to the task making a fine save.

The second half saw a determined visiting side looking to overturn the host’s advantage. CFC sought to use the flanks with greater authority and almost found the goal in the 50th minute from Augusto. The Brazilian play-maker was on target but saw his fine attempt palmed over by Majumdar. The gloom of the missed opportunity was gone in the next minute as Chennaiyin found the equaliser through Alves off the resulting corner. The Brazilian defender went up to nod home the flag-kick taken by Thapa.

Continuing with the momentum, the visitor surged to a lead in the 64th minute. Majumdar made a costly spill to help Chennaiyin bring up its second goal. Instead of going for the catch to block an Inigo Calderon cross, the ATK ’keeper tried to palm the ball out and ended up hitting an approaching Jeje. The ball rebounded off the Chenaiyin forward and found the back of the net.

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