A sensational hat-trick from Abdenasser El Khayati and an equally brilliant brace by Petar Sliskovic powered Chennaiyin FC to a thrashing 7-3 victory against NorthEast United FC in a Hero Indian Super League 2022-23 match at the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.
It rained goals as the in-form El Khayati opened the scoring for Chennaiyin in the 11th minute and added two more dazzling goals (40th and 48th), while Sliskovic headed in the 45th and 57th minute. Julius Duker (68th) also found himself on the scoresheet with a goal, whereas Joe Zoherliana (79th) hit an own goal.
For NorthEast United Wilmar Gil (36th P), Romain Philippoteaux (73rd), and Rochharzela (90th) were on target.
Chennaiyin, who came into the game on the back of two back-to-back losses, began the game with all guns blazing right from the word go against the team, which once again resumed their hunt for the first win of the season.
The visitors took just over 10 minutes to put themselves ahead in the game. El Khayati provided an early lead for the Marina Machans when he slotted home a beautiful goal after reciving a pinpoint pass from Prasanth Karuthadathkuni for the match’s first goal.
The Highlanders managed to equal the scores in the 35th minute when Gil converted from the spot kick.
However, Chennaiyin went pushing for the goal and El Khayati once again put Chennaiyin in the driver’s seat by scoring his second goal of the match, which left the opposition defenders stunned as he fired in exquisitely from outside the box.
Just before the break, the Croatian forward Sliskovic headed one superbly as Chennaiyin went into half-time with a 3-1 lead.
Soon after the resumption, El Khayati recorded a hat-trick by netting one in a similar fashion to pile more misery on NorthEast United.
It was also the seventh goal of the season for the Dutch playmaker, taking him to the top of the scoring chart of this season.
Sliskovic took the game further away from the opposition by producing Chennaiyin’s fifth and his second goal of the match, again with a powerful header.
And then midfielder Duker also joined the party by scoring his maiden ISL goal before Zoherliana gave Chennaiyin their seventh with an own goal with just 10 minutes left in the game.
Meanwhile, Philippoteaux and Rochharzela scored the second and third goals, respectively, for the hosts, but it wasn’t enough for them as Chennaiyin comfortably secured their fourth win and also handed NorthEast United their ninth defeat of the season.
After a confident win tonight, Thomas Brdaric’s men will return home to host Kerala Blasters on December 19.