Bhubaneswar, Jan 16: Chennaiyin FC completed a comfortable 2-0 victory against an out-of-sorts Gokulam Kerala FC in their Group C game of the Kalinga Super Cup here on Tuesday.
There was a clear lack of attacking verve from either side in the opening quarter of the game. For Gokulam this arose in part due to their inability to control the midfield, and also undoubtedly still reeling from being stung late on in their previous encounter. Chennaiyin for their part did little in the final third, half chances the order of the day.
The key difference came in the 25th minute, when Connor Shields expertly controlled an Ankit Mukherjee cross inside the Gokulam box, turning and then shooting into the far corner to give his side the lead. It was a moment created out of nothing, purely by Shields’ skill and ability inside the box. Gokulam did little to muster any resistance for the rest of the half as Chennaiyin saw it off with ease, to lead at the break.
Boosted by the goal, Chennaiyin’s midfield controlled the game thoroughly in the second half, and ramped up their pressure on the Gokulam defence. As their game descended into disarray, Gokulam’s tempers rose, and the game took an ugly, if not outrightly ill-tempered turn.
In the midst of this though, Chennaiyin still found the time to secure their points via a very smartly taken goal by Irfan Yadwad. Afforded immense time and space, Lazar Cirkovic floated a long ball from the centre line into the Gokulam box, which Uadwad brought down well while running at goal, before nicking it past the keeper to double Channaiyin’s lead.
A red card for Rishad reduced Gokulam to 10 for the final 10 minutes of the game, and from there it was all about damage control, with their hopes of a comeback dashed. Chennaiyin completed their victory, and now face a must win against Mumbai City to top the group. (IANS)