Chennaiyin FC Become First Team In ISL Semis

The Chennaiyin FC ship seemed to have been sailing in troubled waters before the ISL kicked off. This team was the last entrant to the league. There was a dispute and the initial bidders for Chenniayin FC dropped out. Even with the least practice together, Materazzi’s boys have proven to be the most determined team of ISL 2014. As another example of that resolve, Chennaiyin became the first team to qualify for the Semi-finals.

Marco Materazzi's (first from left) Chennaiyin FC have proven themselves to be unfazed by controversies and became the first team to book a semi-final spot in the inaugural ISL.

Chennaiyin FC coached by Marco Materazzi’s (first from left),  have become the first team to book a semi-final spot in the ISL.

In a thrilling encounter, Chennaiyin emerged victorious with a late goal at Kerala’s home ground. In an evenly balanced match, an exquisite Bruno Pelissari goal separated the two teams.

Visitor Bruno Pelissari Delights Home Crowd

Super-substitute Pelissari came on the field late in the second half in the 74th minute. Bustling with energy, the goal scorer from Chennaiyin’s previous match brought life back into the match that was turning quite dull. While Bruno was exhorting his team-mates to move forward, just 13 minutes after coming on he created his own luck.

Pelissari latched onto a corner clearance in his own half. He dribbled forward and in a flash he had arrived into Kerala’s 18-yd box. It was then that Bruno made a quick turn to bring the ball onto his left. After that he curled the ball beautifully into the right hand corner of the goal. Sandip Nandy could barely move. Even with their team ending up losing, the football loving Kerala crowd was impressed by the class of Pelissari’s goal.


Bruno Pelissari is one of ISL’s most promising youngsters.

On a closer analysis of the goal it appears as though the defenders could have done a lot better. While Pelissari dribbled all the way to Kerala’s box, there were two defenders running with him. None of them put in a challenge. They rather chose to cover territory and kept moving backwards. That gave Bruno Pelissari enough time and space in the box to whip in his shot.

But my word, the goal was a beauty. Keep aside the fact that the defending could have been better and just relish this young Brazilian’s technique. Also the fact that he is equally magical with both of his feet. His goal against Mumbai was a shot from the edge of the box that beat Subrata Pal all ends up with a first time right footed shot. He is surely one of the most promising talents of this ISL.

David James Limps Off

On the other end of the pitch Kerala’s night began on a very terrible note. In the 16th minute the player coach David James broke into a limp and fell awkwardly to the ground. Something was wrong. It was that injury again that had first surfaced in the NorthEast United FC encounter a few days ago. Tonight, it was a surprise to see him walk on to the field with the gloves on. It was a risk he was taking and sadly for his team and the home crowd, it did not pay off. Sandip Nandy had to be bought in. That meant his team was permitted only two more substitutions. Kerala had to pay the price in the second half when the players started to get tired.


Kerala Blasters’ player coach David James (L) triggered his groin injury in the 16th minute and was replaced by Sandip Nandy (R).

Chennaiyin FC prove their technical Superiority

On the technical side there aren’t a lot of big surprises. Chennaiyin controlled much of the attack in the first quarter. The home side’s attack index was an unbelievable 8%. Almost all of the attacking flow came from the visitors. In terms of shooting Chennaiyin FC were clearly more dominant. Chennaiyin took 12 shots of which 5 were on target. On the other hand the home side took only 7 shots of which 3 were on target.

Possesion was quite evenly distributed. Kerala had a slight edge in that area with 51% of ball possession.

On the flip side an incredible 40 fouls were committed in the game. 22 by Chennaiyin FC and 18 by Kerala Blasters. Around 10 fouls had already been given away in the opening 16 minutes. Surely one area where Chennaiyin can improve

A Goal to remember

But the night will be remembered for that sparkling run by Bruno Pelissari that has now left the Kerala Blasters in its wake

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