Home side Chennaiyin FC put up another clinical performance on Wednesday as they comprehensively beat FC Pune City 3-1 in match 36 of the Hero Indian Super League. All four goals were scored in the last 30 minutes of the game. The win also saw Chennaiyin FC occupy the top spot in the league table, ending Atletico de Kolkata’s five week long reign. John Stiven Mendoza, Bruno Pelissari and Jeje Lalpekhlua scored for the home side while a self-goal by Chennai midfielder Eric Djemba Djemba gave Pune their only goal of the match.
Bright Start By Chennaiyin FC In 1st Half
Both the teams were up for the challenge as they attacked with flair. Mendoza (Chennai) and Davide Colomba had early scoring opportunities. The home side was the better looking side in terms of on-field coordination and they came the closest to scoring when Jeje Lalpekhlua’s close range shot was blocked by Pune’s goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya.
The first half also saw 3 substitutions due to injuries. Chennaiyin FC ‘s marquee player and leading goalscorer of the ISL, Elano Blumer limped off the field in the 16th minute and was replaced by Bruno Pelissari. Five minutes later, Gouramangi Singh also left the field which brought in Balwant Singh. For the visitors, defender Daniele Magliochetti walked off due to an injury and was replaced by Andres. The first half yielded no goals.
2nd Half – Chennai Score at both Ends But Also Take a Lead
After a goalless first half, Chennaiyin FC came out all guns blazing once play resumed. Elano’s absence hardly affected the team’s morale as they were still successful in launching repeated counterattacks. The Indian duo of Jeje and Balwant Singh combined well to keep the visitors under pressure. In the 62nd minute, Balwant sent in a delightful ball from the outside of the box. Mendoza was quick enough to get to the ball and clip it over Arindam Bhattacharya’s head into the goal. The Pune custodian mistimed his charge which led to the goal.
Eight minutes later, Davide Colomba ran past the Chennai defence to cross from the left wing. The ball was deflected into the goal by Chennaiyin FC ‘s midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba who ended up handing the visitors an easy equaliser.
Chennai got back into lead in the very same minute, thanks to a fierce strike by substitute Bruno Pelissari into the bottom left corner. The home side was on a roll and Jeje summed things up with another goal which was scored from a through ball by Balwant Singh in stoppage time.
Chennaiyin FC have made it to the top of the table and would look to continue their stay as they travel to Mumbai for their next game on November 23. On the other hand, FC Pune City slip to the fifth place.