Chennaiyin FC claim fireworks on Diwali night as they tame Pune City FC by doubling lead
Chennaiyin FC defeated Pune City FC by a margin of 4-2 after being down by one goal at halftime. However, John Gregory’s side sparked an excellent turnaround by scoring four goals within thirty minutes of the second half by some smart tweaks in the overall tactics and gameplay.
The first half started with Chennaiyin FC maintaining the majority of possession and trying to work the ball around in their defensive line. They were intent on keeping hold of the ball and thus hardly took any risks while attempting a forward pass as such. In fact, Chennaiyin FC went into halftime with a possession rate of 71%.
Despite having the major chunk of the ball, they were in dire need of some sort of creativity in the final third. Pune was compact in defence, as they closed down spaces and overcrowded the box with many defenders. After eight minutes of Chennaiyin FC dominating the ball, a long ball released from Pune’s half landed perfectly inside the opposition’s penalty box.
Ashique Kuruniyan, kept his composure and finished off the move by putting the ball behind the net through a very tight angle. His finish was deft and accurate, as Pune required only a single offensive move to gain an advantage over their opponents. Furthermore, Robin Singh was a constant attacking presence for Pune as he was regularly involved in the defensive aspect of the game too.
Singh held the ball to bring the other forwards into play and made some quick wide runs into the box too. Jerry seemed to influence some attacking runs from the left flank but Chennaiyin FC’s approach was far more defensive to cause any troubles to Pune’s defensive line. Gregory’s team tried to stretch play and send some deliveries into the box at times. Jeje was unable to pounce on one such cross due to a mistimed run. Otherwise, Chennaiyin FC created very few goal-scoring opportunities for their forwards to come into play.
Chennaiyin FC sparked a remarkable turnaround in the second half as they undertook a more direct approach and surprised their counterparts with a totally different attacking pattern as compared to the first half. Chennaiyin FC decided to play long balls ahead and thus dissected Pune’s fragile defensive line brilliantly.
Firstly, Anirudh Thapa’s perfectly lobbed delivery into the box was delicately headed inside the net by Mailson in the 54th minute. Within two minutes, Mailson yet again contributed to another goal as he released the ball from the back and set Gregory Nelson free on a run from the inside-right channel. Nelson shot the ball precisely and attained a lead in the game.
Kamaljit Singh’s indecisiveness is to be blamed for this goal too as the custodian wasn’t commanding in a 1v1 situation. Later in the 69th minute, Inigo Calderon scored for Chennaiyin FC as he notched a goal from a very close range through a well improvised deft touch from his left foot. This goal was a result of a corner too and it just further emphasizes their threat from set-piece situations. Chennaiyin FC managed to put more men into the box and reaped the results of the same.
However, they did not restrain to attack even after the third goal. Nelson was on another run from the inside-right channel as he unleashed a good low cross for Jeje. The forward couldn’t put it behind the net but Thoi Singh tapped the ball in by making a quick run through the centre.
This provided Chennaiyin FC with their fourth goal of the match as they managed to turn things around quite brilliantly in the second half. Jonathan Vila notched a goal back for Pune as Marcelinho assisted through a cross from a corner. Unfortunately, this late goal couldn’t upturn the lead and the comfortable position in which Pune City was at halftime.
What’s next for Chennaiyin FC?
Chennaiyin FC will come up against Jamshedpur FC on 25th November after the international break.