ISL 2022-23: Chennaiyin FC head coach Brdaric believes win over East Bengal FC will boost team's confidence
Chennaiyin FC walked away from Kolkata with three points for the second time this season as they beat East Bengal FC 1-0 in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday.
Chennaiyin FC defeated East Bengal FC 1-0 in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 clash at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday to walk away from Kolkata with three points for the second time this season.
The solitary goal of the game was scored by Vafa Hakhamaneshi in the 69th minute, just before he was sent off from the game. Both sides finished with ten men as East Bengal’ Sarthak Golui was also sent off in the 75th minute.
The home team's starting lineup from the Kolkata Derby last week remained unchanged under head coach Stephen Constantine. With Debjit Majumder returning to goal after serving his suspension, Chennaiyin FC just made one alteration. The main worry for the visitors was Kwame Karikari's absence from the team owing to an injury.
Two minutes into the game, Jordan O'Doherty found himself in space inside the Chennaiyin box. His cross was blocked by Fallou Diagne before it could do any damage. At the other end just after the ten-minute mark, Petar Sliskovic was picked out with a through ball by Anirudh Thapa. The angle was tight and Sliskovic’s attempt struck the post.
Approaching the midway point of the first half, Suhair Vadakkepeedika tried to catch the visitors off-guard with a quick counter. The flag stayed down as Suhair galloped towards goal before placing his effort wide of the far post. In the 34th minute, Thapa sold a dummy inside the East Bengal box before seeing his powerful shot saved by Kamaljit Singh.
In the 36th minute, Hakhamaneshi was almost punished for his complacency at the edge of the Chennaiyin box. The Iranian delayed a pass to the goalkeeper before losing his footing. Cleiton Silva pounced on the ball but saw his shot from a tight angle fly wide of goal.
Five minutes into the second half, a Chennaiyin FC corner was cleared, but only as far as Rahim Ali, lurking at the edge of the box. On the volley, the striker tried to find the bottom right corner, but his effort was just wide. Three minutes later, Kamaljit produced another brave save to deny Prasanth Karuthadathkuni.
The game had 0-0 written all over it till the 69th minute. Substitute Akash Sangwan whipped a good ball in from a corner and Hakhamaneshi was the first to reach it and nod it in from close range, giving the Marina Machans a crucial lead. However, the Iranian defender received a second yellow card of the game due to his celebration, and the visitors were down to ten men.
Just a little over five minutes after the incident, the Torch Bearers were reduced to ten men as well. Sarthak, who was booked in the first half, received his marching orders after connecting his elbow with Anirudh Thapa in midfield.
Following this win Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric expressed happiness over being back on the winning track. "Yes, we are back on track with that hard fought performance, and I am happy for my players and the fans to get the three points, which will help us in the upcoming matches. I am very satisfied with the performance," he said in a post-match press conference.
When asked about losing a player due to suspension, Brdaric said, "These kinds of results happen. We concentrated on the game for 90 minutes and used the momentum to kill the opponent with the goal. It was a nice goal, and Aakash Sangwan found our defender Vafa Hakhamaneshi, who finished well but unfortunately will miss the next match."
Bradric also reflected on bagging the first clean sheet of the season. "It looks good since in the last few matches we conceded two early goals, which resulted in deciding the outcome of the match. But tonight we had a little bit of luck with the sort of performance we put up after going ahead in the second half. The result tonight helps boost our confidence and shows the character we have and the mentality the team possesses. We are looking forward to the rest of the season," the Chennaiyin FC head coach added.
The three points move Chennaiyin FC from sixth to fifth in the ISL table. With seven points, the Marina Machans are three points off the top and will play Mumbai City FC next at home on November 12, Saturday. East Bengal FC dropped from ninth to tenth in the league. The Torch Bearers are 3 points off the bottom and will play Bengaluru FC away on November 11, Friday.