ISL 2020-21 highlights, NEUFC vs CFC: NorthEast United, Chennaiyin play out goalless draw

ISL 2020, CFC vs NEUFC: Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC played out a goalless draw at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco.

Anirudh Thapa made his return in the match between Chennaiyin and NorthEast United.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

This is Sportstar's ISL blog of the match between NorthEast United FC and Chennaiyin FC.

Podcast: Shyam Vasudevan and Aashin Prasad review the ups and downs of matchweek 3 of the Indian Super League on The Full Time Show.

 

MATCH REPORT | ISL 2020-21 news: NorthEast United, Chennaiyin squander chances in goalless draw

There's more action coming your way. Bengaluru FC takes on Kerala Blasters in a little over 20 minutes. You can follow the live action here

FULLTIME. This is some of the most drab football played this season. Lot of intensity, not much to talk about in terms of creativity. Chennaiyin clearly hamstrung with its injuries to key players.  Both teams had its chances though. Chhangte for CFC and Sylla for NEUFC should have put away their chances in the second half. NUEFC has its fourth draw in six matches to maintain its unbeaten run and moves to 2nd on the table. CFC remains 8th on the table with five points from as many matches.

CFC SUB: Chhangte OFF, Sarkar ON

Four minutes of added time.

89' Rochharzela again threatening to make the difference. He cuts in from the left and gets past two CFC defenders but his shot from the centre is blocked.

87' Rochharzela's hooked ball into the box is a tad too long for Britto to chase down.

85' Confusion in the NUEFC box. Dhanpal knocks down Chhangte's cross into the path of Thapa but the mdifielder and Thoi get in each other's way.

Looks like Dhanpal will play as the centre-forward... Chennaiyin will likely finish the match with two foreigners on the field.

82' CFC SUBS: Sylvestr, Fatkhulo OFF; Dhanpal, Thoi ON

80' Lambot takes out Thapa by sticking out his leg. Lambot goes into the referee' notebook.

80' Fatkhulo's outswinging corner is met by Sabia but his header is straight at Gurmeet.

78' NEUFC SUBS:  Lalengmawia, Meetei OFF; Britto and Rempuia Fanai ON

Drinks break called.

75' CFC SUB: Edwin OFF, Thapa ON

73' Fatkhullo hooks in a cross for Sylvestr but he can't get his head to it. Ball falls to Chhangte but he is closed down immediately.

71' Corner for Chennaiyin. Foul called against Memo inside the box from the corner.

70' Still no signs of Thapa or Crivellaro for Chennaiyin. Thapa is warming up on the sidelines.

66' Rochharzela gets away from Germanpreet and slips in a through ball to Sylla. Sylla's flicked shot off balance goes wide of goal with only the 'keeper to beat.

64' NEUFC SUB: Machado OFF, Appiah ON

60' Sylvestr traps the ball into his feet and turns away from his defender and fires it on target which Gurmeet palms away! The ball breaks into the path of Chhangte, who blazes it over the bar! What a chance for Chennaiyin.

57' Third successive corner for NEUFC. Kaith comes out to flick the ball but misses. Fox meets it with his header at the far post but can't get it on target.

56' NEUFC SUB: Suhair OFF, Rochharzela ON

55' SAVED! Suhair does well on the left and squares a low ball into the box which Sylla connects with a sweeping effort. Kaith with an acrobatic fingertip save to push it behind.

54' Memo clears the ball behind for a corner after a long ball fell to Sylla on the break. Lambot meets the header at the far post but Kaith gathers it.

53' Foul called on Memo for jumping over Sylla.

Tangri has been made to change his shirt now.

50' For all the possession, Chennaiyin is struggling to break down the NEUFC defence.

Tangri is playing this half with Abhijit Sarkar's shirt on.

47' Chhangte plays it through for Sylvestr, whose left-footed shot hits the side netting.

46' NEUFC kicks off the second period from right to left. Machado does well on the left flank and plays it into Suhair, who sets up Sylla on the edge of the box. The striker's shot goes over the bar.

SECOND HALF

Half-time whistle is blown. It's been a feisty 45 minutes. Chennaiyin had a good opening 10 minutes without troubling the scoreline and NorthEast United has come back strongly since. Both teams have good attacking options to bring off the bench to make a difference in this game.

45'+2' Tangri catches Sylla's face with his arm. Play is stopped. Gerard Nus is not happy at the touchline.

Three minutes of added time.

44' Both teams with equal spells of possession but haven't been able to fashion any meaningful chance.  Some poor final passes.

39' Another left footed drive from Edwin and this time it's straight at Gurmeet and manages to hold on to the ball.

38' Let off for Chennaiyin. Suhair sets up Sylla inside the box but the striker is closed down before he can get a shot away. Ball breaks to Machado and has his shot blocked as well.

36' Machado is booked for a foul on Edwin.

34' Chennaiyin hasn't been able to play the ball into the feet of Chhangte. The path has been blocked by Meetei and Ashutosh covering the channel.

32' Time for the water break.

29' Tangri is down after Camara's forearm catches his head while challenging for a header.

27' Pass played over the top down the right and Ninthoi Meetei manages to play in a low cross from the byline but Kaith dives low to collect it before it can get on to the feet of Sylla.

25' Jerry wins a challenge with Sylla and has plenty of time to pick out a teammate inside the box but he only finds Camara.

Chhangte and Fatkhullo have switched flanks for the time being.

22' Suhair is down on the ground after a coming together with Jerry. He is okay to continue now.

20' Foul against Machado for clipping Reagan's heel on a NEUFC counter attack.

17' Shout for a handball! Cross from the left by Fox and Lamblot has a free header in the six yard box which flicks the hand of Memo. Referee turns down the appeal.

16' NEUFC is piling on the pressure here now. Fourth corner already. Some nippy, passing play in the Chennaiyin half involving Lalengmawia, Sylla and Machado sets up Suhair on the left. His shot from distance takes a big deflection and goes behind goal.

14' Third corner for NEUFC and Fox rises high to get his head to the ball but can't keep it on target.

13' Suhair turns away from Tangri down the middle and plays in Machado to the left side. The winger's low cross is cut out by Sabia.

11' Sylla flicks the ball over Memo but Kaith rushes off his line and puts his fist through before the striker can get on to the ball.

It's a three man midfield for Chennaiyin with Edwin and Tangri shielding the back four. Germanpreet is playing further up the pitch in the no 10 role.

8' Chennaiyin has come out all guns blazing here. Good work from Jerry down the left again and squares it to Fathkullo inside the box which brings about another corner.

5' Jerry beats his man on the left and fired in a cross into the six yard box which amblot crucially intercepts. Corner for Chennaiyin. From the corner, Edwin fires in a eft-footed shot from outside the box which narrowly missed the far post!

Chhangte has made a brisk start to the game.

3' Corner for NEUFC and the ball is cleared out of danger.

1' CFC kicks off from right to left. Chhangte runs down to get on the end of the long ball between the centreback and the right back. The winger's left footed shot draws a save from Gurmeet.

4.52 pm: Both teams are out in the middle. Chennaiyin in its white away kit.

 

 

4.30 pm: Little under 30 minutes until kick-off. How well have you followed the 2020-21 season so far? Take our quiz to find out. QUIZ

Big Kwesi Appiah starts from the bench today. Idrissa Sylla will take his place in the starting XI. - ISL/Sportzpics

 

4.20 pm: Three changes for NUEFC. Lalrempuia, Appiah, Rochharzela - OUT. Ninthoinganba Meetei, Idrissa Sylla, Lalengmawia - IN. NEUFC has its full compliment of seven overseas players in today's matchday squad.

He's back. A huge sigh of relief for Chennaiyin fans as Anirudh Thapa makes a return to the match-day squad after his ankle injury earlier this month. - ISL/Sportzpics

 

4.13 pm: Thapa returns to the 20-man match squad. Skipper Rafael Crivellaro is dropped to the bench, keeping in mind his workload. Edwin Vanspaul gets his first start of the season. Laszlo could play him in a three-man midfield on the right side or use him as a right winger too. Edwin has played in the role during his time in the I-League with Chennai City FC. Memo Moura, also, gets his first start in the centre-back role alongside Eli Sabia. CFC has named only four foreigners in the starting XI. Esmael Goncalves and Enes Sipovic are ruled out with injuries.

4 pm: Line-ups are announced

NorthEast United FC XI (4-2-3-1)

Gurmeet Singh; Ashutosh Mehta, Benjamin Lambot, Dylan Fox, Gurjinder Kumar; Lalengmawia, Khassa Camara; Ninthoinganba Meetei, Suhair VP, Idrissa Sylla, Luis Machado

Chennaiyin FC XI (4-3-3)

Vishal Kaith; Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Memo Moura, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Edwin Vanspaul, Deepak Tangri, Germanpreet Singh; Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev, Lallianzuala Chhangte; Jakub Sylvestr

3.55 pm: Chennaiyin's Anirudh Thapa is back in full training. It remains to be seen if Csaba Laszlo will include him in the starting XI. Team news will be out in 5 minutes.

3.45 pm: Here's how the two teams could line up.

NorthEast United FC predicted XI (4-3-3)

Gurmeet Singh; Ashutosh Mehta, Benjamin Lambot, Dylan Fox, Gurjinder Kumar; Lalengmawia, Khassa Camara, Lalrempuia Fanai; Ninthoinganba Meetei, Kwesi Appiah, Luis Machado

Chennaiyin FC XI (4-2-3-1)

Vishal Kaith; Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Memo Moura, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Anirudh Thapa, Deepak Tangri; Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev, Rafael Crivellaro, Lallianzuala Chhangte; Jakub Sylvestr

3.30 PM: Shyam Vasudevan and Aashin Prasad review the ups and downs of matchweek 3 of the Indian Super League on The Full Time Show.

MATCH PREVIEW

After two consecutive defeats, Chennaiyin FC (CFC) faces an uphill task to get its campaign back on track when it takes on an undefeated NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) at the Tilak Maidan here on Sunday.

Despite being the better team on the park on Wednesday, CFC lost 2-1 to Mumbai City FC thanks to some sloppy defending from set-pieces squandering a 1-0 lead.

With just four points from as many games, the former champion needs to find a way to capitalising on chances and get valuable points on board again.

However, coach Csaba Laszlo is not pressing the panic button yet saying, “We played good football but it is also about results. The season is very long. I don't want to talk about where we will end. Against Mumbai, we were unhappy after the game and, with a little luck, we can get better results.”

The team has not also been helped by injuries to some of its key players. Its two foreign signings Esmael Goncalves and Enes Sipovic are likely to miss a couple of games after picking up injuries in the last match. One silver lining though is Anirudh Thapa, who missed the previous game, is back at training and could start on Sunday to give some creative inspiration on the field.

In NorthEast, CFC faces a formidable opponent who has managed to eke out two clean sheets from five games and the joint highest-scorer with Mumbai City FC with eight goals so far.

Commenting on NEUFC, CFC coach Laszlo said, “They are a stable team. In offense, they have new players who have performed well. Generally, it's a team that can score goals against every opponent.”

NEUFC coach Gerard Nus though is not taking things for granted. “Chennaiyin is going to be a competitive team. We have seen the way they fight. In the last game (against Mumbai City), they did not get the result but, they created chances and were dangerous. We have to be ready for it,” Nus said on Saturday.

ISL 2020-21 points table

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The Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) will mark the return of major league competition in India after the nationwide lockdown to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak was first imposed in March.

The seventh edition of the ISL got underway inside a bio-bubble in Goa on November 20.

The tournament, spanning over four months, will see 11 teams play each other in a league and playoff format across three venues. Following SC East Bengal's inclusion, this season will feature 115 games, up from 95 last season.

 

ISL 2020 will be televised live at 5 pm IST on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.