ISL 2019-20: Chennaiyin FC 2-1 Hyderabad FC - Talking points

Valskis and Schembri were among the goals in the stoppage time to edge Chennaiyin ahead of Kilgallon's equaliser for Hyderabad in the Indian Super League (ISL).

Nerujis Valskis wheels off in celebration against Hyderabad FC.   -  ISL MEDIA

Chennaiyin FC finally registered a win in the Indian Super League (ISL) with a late 2-1 win over Hyderabad FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday.

Nerujis Valskis and Andre Schembri were among the goals in the stoppage time to edge Chennaiyin ahead of Matthew Kilgallon's equaliser for Hyderabad.

Sportstar looks at what stood out in the thriller.


1. Better late than never

It seemed to be destined for another frustrating evening for John Gregory and Chennaiyin with the score deadlocked at 0-0 heading into the added time. It was proving to be a familiar narrative with the number of wasteful chances by the forwards despite dominating play. It was 768 minutes (almost 13 hours) without a goal in the ISL and was heading towards extending a winless run of eight games in the competition.

The goal by Schembri in the 92nd minute came out of nowhere when he held off a challenge before turning and firing the ball past Kamaljit Singh, who was impenetrable until that moment. Valskis, too, atoned for his earlier miss to score a late winner in the 97th minute with a composed finish past the 'keeper. Chennaiyin strike duo of Valskis and Schembri will take a lot of confidence by ending the team's goal drought.

2. Anirudh Thapa pulls the strings

The young central midfielder has endured a difficult start to the season playing non-stop for both club and country which culminated in an uninspiring display in the 0-3 loss to Bengaluru FC before the international break. Luckily for Gregory, Thapa came back from national duty well rested having been omitted from India's matches away to Afghanistan and Oman.

Thapa was central to plenty of good moments for Chennaiyin often driving play from his own half and spraying out passes to maintain Chennaiyin's attacking momentum. He was quick to pick out Rafael Crivellaro on the counter-attacks from which the home side came close to scoring in the first half.

It was a brilliant midfield display from the 21-year-old and was deservedly voted the man-of-the-match.

3. Hyderabad pays price for tactics

If it wasn't for Lallianzuala Chhangte's off target header and Kamaljit's save of Thapa, Hyderabad would have been two goals down by the half-time break. Kamaljit continued to be the hero between the posts by further puling off superb saves of Thoi Singh, Crivellaro and Eli Sabia in the second half as well before the pressure caught up with the side.

The midfield pair of Rohit Kumar and Marko Stankovic were exposed by Crivellaro and Thapa running easily past them. Chhangte, too, found plenty of joy behind the back three of Hyderabad with Gurtej Singh having a tough job of dealing with him. To his credit Gurtej stood up to the challenge of Chhangte as the game progressed.

The substitution of Shankar Sampingiraj in the last ten minutes to slot in he centre-back position didn't have a desired effect with the back three being disorganised against Schembri and Valskis, who combined to score the winner.