Striker Pedro Manzi’s hat-trick helped the Coimbatore-based team pick up three points from its opening game of the campaign. Indian Arrows started positively, scoring the opener as early as the second minute. Chennai City goalkeeper Kabir failed to collect Rahul KP’s cross from the right wing. Amarjit Singh was in the right place at the right time to make the most of the goalie’s mistake.
The host had its equaliser in the 32nd minute, with the Spanish striker putting the ball into the back of the net. There was nothing to separate between the teams as they went into the half-time break with the scoreline reading 1-1.
Chennai City started the second half on a strong note. Manzi netted his second goal four minutes after the interval to give CCFC a 2-1 lead. He then completed his hat-trick with a spot kick in the 64th minute. Romario also chipped in, scoring the fourth and final goal for the home side.
“We were not competitive enough in the first half. The players were a little bit affected after conceding early. But, we spoke during the break about the mistakes we made. The boys played better in the second half,” said CCFC coach Akbar.
Man of the Match Manzi was delighted with his effort on his debut. “I didn’t expect such a performance from myself. But, I am happy with what I did today (Friday). I do what my coach tells me to. I don’t try anything extra. We play as a team.”
Indian Arrows coach Floyd Pinto acknowledged the quality of the foreign recruits of CCFC. “We were in the game till 1-2. The quality of the foreigners was great. They were the difference between the two sides. We played with intensity throughout the 90 minutes. We look forward to improving ourselves,” he said. Chennai City plays its next game against Churchill Brothers Goa FC here on November 11.