NORTHEAST UNITED 3-0 CHENNAIYIN FC: Highlanders shoot down league leaders
Guwahati, November 27
Chennaiyin FC were stunned by ten men NorthEast United as they handed Marco Materazzi’s side a 3-0 defeat at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati on Thursday evening. Joan Capdevila was sent off in the 72nd minute as he picked his second booking for fouling Maurice Edu. A couple of goals from Massamba Lo Sambou and another by Durga Boro in the first half were enough to take them to fifth spot in the Indian Super League (ISL) standings with 13 points. Chennaiyin meanwhile, retain their top spot as they have 19 points from 11 matches.
Ricki Herbert elected to make four changes from the side that went down against Delhi Dynamos. Massamba Lo Sambou, Felipe de Castro, Durga Boro and Boithang Haokip came in for Isaac Chansa, Dong-Hyun Do, Robin Gurung and the suspended Aiborlang Khongjee.
Chennaiyin FC were missing Mikael Silvestre and Bojan Djordjic due to injuries as Jairo Suarez and Jean Maurice came into the team.
The home side started brighter of the two sides as they pressed high and won a couple of corners. They were eventually rewarded in the 10th minute as Durga Boro took advantage of a poor header from Eric Djemba-Djemba which hit Seminlen Doungel and dropped for him. The midfielder made no mistake from close range to smash it past Gennaro Bracigliano from close range.
Zodingliana Ralte had a chance to double the lead ten minutes later as he controlled Koke’s free-kick to force a save from Bracigliano. In the 21st minute, Lo Sambou scored his first goal of the evening as he headed past the Chennaiyin custodian from a Koke corner-kick.
Djemba-Djemba was at fault again as he gave away a needless foul. Koke delivered an inch perfect ball into the box which saw Lo Sambou rise the highest to score his second in the 23rd minute.
Around the half hour mark, Bruno Pelissari saw his tame effort go straight into the hands of TP Rehenesh in goal.
Doungel had a chance to add his name on the score-sheet as he received a through-ball which put him in an one-on-one situation with the Chennai goalkeeper. However, Doungel struck his shot into Bracigliano to waste the opportunity.
Chennai’s only chance of the half was when Jeje was clean through on goal but Rehenesh was at hand to avert the danger after Lo Sambou was beaten.
After the break, Materazzi introduced Jayesh Rane and Cristian Hidalgo to replace Bruno Pelissari and Jeje Lalpekhlua as he looked to revitalize his attack and claw their way back into the tie.
Five minutes into the second session and Hidalgo found the back of the net with Balwant Singh and Maurice being the architects of the move. However, the former Barcelona midfielder was flagged offside.
In the 60th minute, Hidalgo sent in a fantastic ball across the face of goal which only needed a touch from Balwant but the Indian striker was a tad too slow to react.
NorthEast were reduced to ten men as Capdevila was given his marching orders as he picked his second booking of the game in the 72nd minute.
Chennaiyin did try to put pressure in the final quarter of the game but failed to create any clear-cut chances. On the other hand, the home side were content playing the ball around and keeping the ball as they were intent on keeping the three-goal lead.
This was the first win for the north eastern outfit in over a month since they downed Mumbai City FC 2-0 at the DY Patil Stadium. It was also NorthEast United’s second home win of the season as they ended Chennaiyin’s unbeaten run of seven games and hand them their second away defeat.