Super Cup 2019 Highlights: Chennaiyin FC comes from behind to reach semifinals

Anirudh Thapa scored one and assisted once as Chennaiyin FC came from behind to defeat NorthEast United FC 2-1 in the Hero Super Cup quarterfinal.

Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC face off in a Hero Super Cup quarterfinal clash.   -  Sportzpics

Welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the Super Cup 2019 quarterfinal clash between Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC played at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar.

This is Amal John here and I'll be giving you company through this evening's final quarterfinal clash.

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Chennaiyin FC will face ATK in the Hero Super Cup semifinal after a come-from-behind win against NorthEast United. Anirudh Thapa first came up with an assist to cancel out Rowllin Borges' opener and then a sublime strike to give his team the lead.

NorthEast United wasn't able to find an equaliser despite bringing Ogbeche on late. And with that win, Chennaiyin is unbeaten in its last five games. It's quite a turnaround in its season.

94' One last chance for NorthEast. But Chennaiyin holds on to win it and it's through to the Super Cup semifinal!

93' Ogbeche wins a free-kick for NorthEast. The ball is floated in and Chennaiyin's goalkeeper Karanjit Singh is there to palm it out.

90' Four minutes of added time.

87' NorthEast somehow keeps that from going into their own goal! Confusion at the back after Mailson's clearance goes high up the pitch and Leudo tries to head it to his 'keeper who was already on his way out.

And wait! The goalkeeper Gurmeet dives to save it. It's from outside the box and he does get a touch on it. How did the referees miss that? That would have been a red. If NorthEast equalises now and it goes into penalties, this will be talked about.

85' Ogbeche with a bicycle kick! It's wide. He's got the ability to do that and more.

83' Another chance for NorthEast! It's a wonderful one-two on the right between Mascia and Khosla and the ball's played into the box. It's behind Ogbeche but Rowllin shoots and Mailson is there to block it. 

80' Ouch! Mailson takes a tumble into one of the advertising boards on the side. The big guy knocks down two of them and walks away like nothing happened.  Mailson 1 Ad boards 0

78' Mascia will be helped with a strike partner and it's none other than Bartholomew Ogbeche, their best player this season. He comes in for Nikhil Kadam. Can he provide for his team yet again?

76' NorthEast is getting closer. From a corner after a good move, Mascia dives to meet the ball at the far post but it just goes wide.

73' Jeje Lalpekhlua has been substituted by Thoi Singh, Chennaiyin's highest scorer this season.

70' That's a chance wasted from Girik Khosla. Borges plays a brilliant ball on the turn to split the Chennaiyin defence. Khosla sees an opening from an acute angle and shoots but it's wide.

66' Nikhil Kadam with a fierce volley from the edge of the box but Tondonba comes up with a brave block. NorthEast is dominating possession as Chennaiyin tries to keep the lead intact.

61' Ohhh that's close! The woodwork denies Juan Mascia's powerful strike. It's a good move from NorthEast. Girik Khosla turns his man on the right and plays it to Mascia who unleashes a powerful strike. It hits the crossbar.

57' Thapa's down and he's clutching his shoulder. This doesn't look good for the youngster. Leudo crashed into his back as the big defender was chasing the ball.  Christopher Herd is warming up though. John Gregory wouldn't want to risk Thapa with the rest of the AFC Cup commitments around the corner.

After Chennaiyin's match AFC Cup match against Minerva, coach Gregory had spoken about Thapa: "We're trying to look after him a little bit. There's games coming think and fast. He's been really overworked, traveling all over the world playing matches for both us and the national team. But he always has an impact. When he comes on he always gets straight into the game, and today he was in the thick of the action straight away."

55' Keegan plays a good ball into the box from the left. Tondonba just gets there in time, ahead of Khosla, to put the ball out for a corner.

52' Finding spaces is looking harder than it did in the first half for NorthEast United. It's down to an improved performance from Chennaiyin.

49' Chennaiyin players look better with their pressing this half. Dhanapal Ganesh and Augusto are much higher up the pitch than you'd normally see and Thapa has been a thorn in the NorthEast defence.

46' Keegan Pereira and Girik Khosla have been brought on for NorthEast United. Keegan's gone to the left of midfield.

Schattorie may not have expected to be down at half-time. How long before he thinks about bringing Ogbeche on? He's been their talisman this season but that injury could limit his use today.

HALF TIME

Anirudh Thapa has made this one look a completely different game now. Rowllin Borges gave NorthEast the early lead and just when it looked like the Highlanders could quickly find another, Mailson Alves equalised. After his brilliant assist for the equaliser, Anirudh Thapa put Chennaiyin in front with a sublime strike.

45' Northeast comes so close to equalising! Triadis squares a powerful ball in and Puitea has a chance to shoot it in but its goes just wide.

44' CK Vineeth is trying to get amongst the goals. He looks to repeat the wonder goal from his previous match with a shot from outside the box but it takes a deflection and goes out for a corner.

40' GOAL! Thapa gives Chennaiyin the lead as he smashes the ball into the far corner. 

What a turnaround for Chennaiyin after its opponent looked so dominant throughout. Anirudh Thapa gets rewarded for his efforts.

Thapa capitalises on a mistake from Puitea as he drives past Grgic and puts it in the far corner with a sublime strike.

32' GOAL!! Mailson equalises for Chennaiyin with a towering header. Thapa with the assist.

Mailson was left unmarked, but credit where it's due to Anirudh Thapa, who's looked the most likely to score for Chennaiyin. He plays in a curling ball into the centre of the box and the captain is there to guide it in.

29' That's a yellow card for Augusto.

26' Meanwhile, NorthEast at the other end is being patient in its build up and it's effective too.

25' Another chance for Chennaiyin as Thapa weaves through midfield to get into the box and sqaures it to the centre but it's too far from anyone in there.

24' Jeje tries to chest the ball down and shoot but its stolen from him. That's the best Chennaiyin's come up with so far. Thapa is looking dominant in midfield at the moment, making runs and dictating play.

21'  Augusto runs into space on the left and gets into the box but he's put off by some excellent tracking back from Nikhil Kadam. Augusto took too long to make his mind and his shot is blocked.

19' Rowllin Borges begins a counter attack from inside his own box. Chennaiyin is still trying to find a way in, mostly through the wings, but NorthEast remains focussed at the back.

16' Chennaiyin has received orders from the touchline to push higher up the pitch and put pressure on the NorthEast defence as it tries to get level.

13' Seems to be a problem for Raphael Augusto. Looked to have pulled his hamstring a bit. But he's back on his feet after receiving medical attention.

11' NorthEast United hasn't lost this season when it has taken the lead first.

9' GOAL! Rowllin Borges taps in from close range to put NorthEast United in front.

What a move from the Highlander! Triadis starts it off from a corner kick. He passes it to Kadam who plays it to Putia. Puitea plays a beautiful through ball to Triadis and he squares it in. Borges is right where he needs to be.

6' NorthEast United is the first to get into the final third. Nikhil Kadam with a ball towards Juan Mascia, spotting him making a run behind the defence. But it's long.

4' Action has been limited to the middle of the field so far. Pensive start from both teams.

KICK OFF! We're underway here at the Kalinga stadium.

Here's what the coaches have to say ahead of the game.

  • Some team news coming in.

    Bartholomew Ogbeche, who scored a hat-trick in NEUFC's 4-3 win over Chennaiyin FC in the ISL, may not be able to repeat his feat. The striker has still not fully recovered from his injury, but coach Schattorien said he may be fot to play a cameo towards the end.

    Meanwhile, after a knee injury had kept him out for the whole ISL season, Dhanapal Ganesh is back in the starting line-up for Chennaiyin FC, bringing back the local flavour in the team.


     

NorthEast United FC should ideally be the favourite against Chennaiyin FC, which had a horrific season in the ISL, finishing bottom of the table. But injury concerns for the Highlanders and Chennaiyin's recent form in the Super Cup has made this quarterfinal clash interesting. Eelco Schattorie's NEUFC comes into the match with only 14 outfield players in the squad. Chennaiyin has been unbeaten since its last match in the ISL.

Here's our reporter Aashin Prasad's preview of the match.

Injury-hit NorthEast United takes on Chennaiyin FC

An injury-ravaged NorthEast United (NEUFC) is set to take on Chennaiyin FC in an all-Indian Super League affair in the quarterfinal of the Hero Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

NEUFC head coach Eelco Schattorie revealed that his side will be heading into the game with only 14 outfield players and two goalkeepers for selection. While striker Bartholomew Ogbeche (hamstring), is fit to play a brief role against Chennaiyin, attacking midfielder Federico Gallego remains sidelined with a leg fracture. The duo contributed to 16 of the 22 goals NorthEast scored in the league stages of the ISL.

Schattorie explained, “The preparation hasn’t been smooth. Among the 15, one player is suspended (Gurwinder Singh) and the other (Ogbeche) can play only 15-20 minutes. In total, I have only 13 [outfield] players but it is not an excuse. We will go all out [for the win].

NEUFC will be keen to welcome central midfielder Rowllin Borges back into the fold after he missed the ISL playoff second leg against Bengaluru FC due to a hamstring injury. In Rowllin and Ogbeche’s absence, the Dutch coach had shifted to a 4-4-2 formation in Bengaluru to suit the attributes of his second-choice striker Juan Mascia.

With Rowllin’s driving runs from the middle of the park to create width, Schattorie might return to his preferred 4-3-3 formation. He pointed out that, “He (Mascia) is a striker who likes the ball to be played to him and not make the deep runs. That ends up having a lot of influence on the game plan. But Borges can make the runs.”

Chennaiyin, on the other hand, will need to find a way past NorthEast’s sturdy defence, which has kept the most number of clean sheets in the ISL. Unfortunately for coach John Gregory, his team has scored the least number of goals while finishing 10th on the points table.

“Goal-scoring has been trouble all season. We have lacked a real goal-scorer. Jeje (Lalpekhlua) has scored two in his last two appearances so hopefully, he and CK (Vineeth) can strike up a good relationship and get us a few victories,” said Gregory.

Back in Bhubaneswar after its AFC Cup assignment in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, the former ISL champion will need to hit the strides quickly against a side it has lost twice to this season.

“We haven’t had a great deal of time (for preparation) since the AFC Cup match. We just had one day for recovery and then we were travelling. But the boys are ready and I have a fit squad which is a benefit,” said the Englishman.

In spite of the numerical advantage in the players to choose from, Gregory labelled NorthEast the favourite for Sunday’s clash. “He has got a good bunch of players there. Even if they got 15, it still represents a difficult match for us. They will obviously be the favourites,” he stated.

Rupert Nongrum and Provat Lakra, both long-term injuries, Robert Lalthlamuana (compassionate leave) and Pawan Kumar (knee) are the other notable absentees. Schattorie hopes that the young Indian players in the squad will step up in the crunch situation.

(The match will kick-off at 8:30 pm and will be streamed live on Hotstar.)