Two Manuel Lanzarote penalties on both sides of the whistle and a Jayesh Rane screamer handed Chennaiyin FC their seventh defeat in 10 matches, four of which have come at home including the 3-2 loss against ATK at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on Sunday.
Of those 10, Chennaiyin has won just one – that came after five defeats and a draw – and has since drawn another and lost two more. They are placed eighth on the table with five points and have the second-worst goal-difference having conceded 19, just two fewer than FC Pune City, who are a rung below them from the same number of games.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 2, 2018
After a calm week of Indian Super League that witnessed three barren draws and just 10 goals in seven games, this seven-goal thriller was a humdinger for a Sunday.
Both sides threatened from the start but were plagued with poor finishing until Jayesh Rane broke the deadlock with a stunner. Receiving the ball from Hitesh Sharma, the former Chennaiyin FC man took few strides before letting out a ripper into the right top-net having already seen that none of the home side’s defenders were closing him down.
10 minutes later, Thoi Singh pulled the scores level for his side after Mailson Alves found him from a corner. Issac Vanmalsawma had done well to control the ball near the touchline from a Raphael Augusto flag-kick before feeding Mailson for the equaliser.
But a moment of madness from Eli Sabia, who struck out a hand to stop Hitesh Sharma’s shot from close range, gave ATK a penalty. Lanzarote stepped up and converted sending Chennaiyin goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh the other way just six minutes from the halftime whistle.
ATK then doubled their lead from another handball, little after the home side had failed to take their chances. A goal-mouth melee resulted in substitute Carlos Salom raising his hand to prevent Hitesh Sharma’s long boot from hitting it faced. But it instead hit the ball and ATK had a second penalty.
Lanzarote stepped up and replayed the earlier shot with the keeper once again diving the other way.
That was after Jeje Lalpekhlua had fired a ball straight into ATK custodian Arindam Bhattacharya’s hands from close range and Thoi had skied the rebound. Chennaiyin had another opportunity to bounce back but finding himself in an open situation from an Augusto cross, Andrea Orlandi fired wide.
Then Issac found Thoi with a cross which the winger disappointedly placed into the side netting, while Issac scored eight minutes from ATK’s goal after receiving a similar cross from Thoi.
ATK are fifth on the points table, level on points with the fourth-placed Jamshedpur but lower on goal difference.