It took him 548 minutes and 12 shots, but Lallianzuala Chhangte finally scored his first goal of the season during Chennaiyin FC's 2-2 draw with SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) on Saturday.
The 23-year-old opened his season's tally in style as he latched on to Jakub Sylvestr's through ball, raced towards the SC East Bengal box, and slotted it between Debjit Majumder's legs.
Chhangte's mercurial pace was wide on display as he completed the 40-yard dash in 8.2 seconds and topped it off with a clinical finish.
The goal, his eighth since last year, makes him the highest scoring Indian midfielder in the ISL since 2019. He is also the 13th Indian goalscorer in ISL 2020-21.
Interestingly, this isn't the first time Chhangte and Sylvestr have combined for a goal this season. The Indian had set up Slovakian forward for his first strike of the season during the 2-1 loss to Mumbai City earlier this month. It was Chhangte's first assist in Chennaiyin colours .
Here are the other key talking points from the SC East Bengal vs Chennaiyin FC ISL 2020-21 clash:
Chennaiyin left to rue defensive frailties
Chennaiyin conceded both its goals from set-pieces, much to the chagrin of coach Csaba Laszlo. The first goal came from a corner when Matti Steinmann's run went unchecked and he headed home from the near post.
The second goal also came from a similar situation as Danny Fox rose high to head in a corner. Vishal Kaith managed to save it, but his block went only as far as Steinmann, who scored with ease.
Of the seven goals Chennayin has conceded this season, five have come from set-pieces.
A distraught Laszlo said post the game: "I am really destroyed. To concede two goals from set pieces is not okay for me. We are missing chances which is frustrating. Why we didn't win today was because we made mistakes in set pieces. I need to analyse. Even after we conceded we had chances to score. The small things is not there. I am a human who doesn't like to lose but I am also realistic. But it's a painful draw."
Rafique misses a sitter, Maghoma denied penalty
Mohammed Rafique was instrumental in SC East Bengal's draw with Kerala Blasters as it was his cross that led to the goal. And he had a golden chance to score his first goal of the season in the 38th minute.
He beat the offside trap to get on the end of a chipped ball and even rounded the 'keeper, but took too long to shoot as into an empty net as Deepak Tangri slid in to clear the danger.
Tangri was a lucky man as his shove on Maghoma a few minutes prior could have seen SC East Bengal awarded a penalty.
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