Chennaiyin FC end their winless streak, trump Odisha FC 2-1

Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin FC finally ended their 4-match winless streak as they trumped Odisha FC with a 2-1 scoreline in today’s match of the Hero Indian Super League. Chennaiyin FC scored two goals well in their first half. Odisha FC couldn’t really equalise, even though a late goal by the sublime Diego Mauricio reduced the deficit. 

Esmael Goncalves brace ensured Chennaiyin FC a good lead early on. Odisha FC’s players toiled hard for that second goal equaliser that was not to come.

Chennaiyin FC didn’t have the best form of late as they had a winless 4-game streak including three draws and one loss. Hence, they came in strong to face Odisha FC in today’s match played in the GMC Stadium in Bambolim. 

Odisha FC too has had a pretty forgettable season so far especially in the first half but was looking a much better side towards the latter part of the tournament. Their first win came in their 9th match and they look a much more settled side.

The first chance came very early on in the game- just 5 minutes into the first half as Chennaiyin FC forward Esmael Goncalves dribbled the ball into the box from the right flank but the finishing left a lot to be desired. 

Isma skied the ball when left 1-on-1 with the keeper and it was a glorious opportunity. Chennaiyin FC was already looking dangerous and enjoyed more than 60% possession.

With that type of attack and possession, Odisha FC’s high line of defence failed again and they conceded a goal just 15 minutes into the game. It had been a persisting problem for the Juggernauts- out of the 16 goals they conceded in the current season, an astonishing 11 were in the first half. 

Isma, who was looking dangerous ever since the start of the match, scored the first goal as Odisha FC defender Gaurav Bora failed to defend a regulation cross by Rahim Ali from the left flank. His poor touch was picked up by Isma who ran towards the goal and chipped the ball over goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh into the net. It was poor defending by Odisha FC again and their defence continued to add to their woes.

What else added to their woes again was that not more than 5 minutes later, Isma was brought down in the penalty box by a heavy tackle from Gaurav Bora. The referee awarded a penalty immediately. Isma did not miss the golden opportunity as he completed his brace, doubling the lead. It was a nightmare start for Odisha FC and Bora as consecutive defensive errors resulted in a very one-sided scoreline just 20 minutes into the game.

Odisha FC fought hard and the first big opportunity came to Manuel Onwu in the 38th minute but he missed a sitter. Onwu found himself inside the box with the ball because of a defensive error by Chennaiyin FC. He had ample time to place his effort into the corner of the goal but his hurried attempt saw the ball struck wide of the goal. Thus, Odisha FC lost their chance to reduce the lead.

The second half started as Odisha FC seemed more energetic and had a good rhythm going on. They made a couple of changes going into the second half and subbed in their star players Diego Mauricio and Daniel Lalhlimpuia in place of Marcelo Pereira and Jerry Mawihmingthanga.

The substitutions worked as Diego Mauricio scored a stunner. Cole Alexander‘s header was collected promptly by Mauricio. He ran into the penalty area and took a stunning shot towards the right-hand side of the goal. It beat goalkeeper Vishal Kaith‘s desperate dive and the lead was halved.

The match turned a bit more physical after that as the desperate Odisha FC looked to attack all they could and Chennaiyin FC defended and defended well. So much so that there were no major changes after that Mauricio stunner in the 63rd minute and the 4 minutes of Injury time too, could not see the Juggernauts equalise.

Hero of the Match: Anirudh Thapa

The award for the Hero of the Match went to Anirudh Thapa for his beautiful and crucial play in the midfield while the DHL Winning Pass of the Match went to Lallianzuala Chhangte in the awards ceremony.

Chennaiyin FC would look to extend their newfound form and win their next match against SC East Bengal on the 18th of January. Odisha FC has a lot to work on in their dressing room, especially their defence, and they would want to grab a win in their next match against Hyderabad FC on 19th January.