Photo Credit: ISL Media Twitter (https://twitter.com/IndSuperLeague/status/1331268004609282049/photo/1)
ISL 2020-21 Chennaiyin FC vs Jamshedpur FC: CFC begin their league campaign with a win
The Chennai-based outfit defeated Jamshedpur by 2-1 in their first league encounter.
Chennaiyin FC defeated Jamshedpur FC by 2-1 courtesy of goals from Anirudh Thapa and Esmael Goncalves. Nerijus Valksis scored the only goal for Jamshedpur FC on Tuesday night at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco.
Chennaiyin FC begins their onslaught from the word go, as in the very first minute itself when Rafael Crivellaro won the ball in the midfield and passed it to Bissau-Guinean Esmael, whose cross was slotted into the bottom corner by Indian international Anirudh Thapa.
Peter Hartley had a chance to equalize at the 7th minute when he was able to head a ball from the corner but only to go wide off the target.
Esmael had his chance to open his account just three minutes later but he dragged his shot away from the target.
Lallianzuala Chhangte yet had another chance to double the team's lead when Crivellaro's pass found him in a 1v1 situation with the keeper TP Rehenesh, but the winger's effort was palmed away by the Jamshedpur custodian.
But it was just six minutes later when Chennaiyin finally managed to find the second of the night, as Isaac's foul inside the box in an attempt to defend a cross resulted in a penalty, that was slotted home by Esmael.
Esmael had a chance yet again when a one-two led to a 1v1 situation with Jamshedpur goalkeeper but he was unable to put the ball beyond Rehenesh TP.
Jamshedpur FC found one back just before the halfway point when a cross from Jackichand Singh from his weaker foot was dealt with by Valksis, who found the back of the net to make it one for the hosts on the night.
The second half also turned out to be an open play as both sides got chances to score. Jakub Sylvester in the 55th minute couldn't finish a cross from the left by Lallianzuala Chhangte. Aitor Monroy's free-kick at the hour mark was headed off the target by Stephen Eze.
A big opportunity fell to Jamshedpur FC to equalize in the 68th minute when Chennaiyin goalkeeper Vishal Kaith mishandled a ball on the edge of the penalty box, which was quickly shot on the goal by Jackichand, but to the Marina Machans' respite, Enes Sipovic was present at the back to make a clearance.
Chhangte's shot off a pass from Rahim Ali in the 73rd minute was saved by Rehenesh, who once again did so five minutes later against Esmael's effort at the goal. The Chennai-based outfit managed to keep the scoreline in their favor till the blow of the full-time whistle.
Chennaiyin FC head coach Csaba Laszlo praised Anirudh Thapa for his outing on the night, "[Anirudh] Thapa has always been an important part of our team. He definitely showed that he can be a very good player here in India. He deserved to score today. I am a little disappointed that [Lallianzuala] Chhangte couldn’t score but I hope he will score in the next game,” Laszlo said.
The coach believed that his team could have put the game beyond Jamshedpur's reach in the first half itself, “In the first half, we should have closed the game. Chhangte and Isma [Esmael Goncalves] had chances after we went two goals up. In the second half, we knew that the opponents will come out and press hard, but we had to find the spaces for a counter-attack. But at the end of the day we did a good job,” he said.
He was, however, happy that the team got all three points from this encounter, "For me, to get three points is important because every team will fight for the points. We have a very difficult season and the team with lesser injuries can get the three points more easily. To get the three points, we have to fight, show the desire and play like a team,” Laszlo added.
Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle also praised Thapa, with whom he shared the dressing room last season, "Thapa is a wonderful player. He was the best Indian midfielder in the league last season, and I have not seen anything to change my mind yet. I kept encouraging him to get forward as well. He is a wonderful player and a really good lad.”
He was happy with his team's attitude on the pitch, "We started slowly but after the second goal, we showed a lot of heart and spirit. [Nerijus] Valskis scored a wonderful goal. We know that if we give him that kind of supply, he will score the goals... there was a lot of endeavor, but we are disappointed not to get anything from the game. We will pick ourselves up and be ready for the next match,” Coyle shared.