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Everything we worked on came to fruition, says Coyle
CFC now has nine points from eight games and sits eighth on the table
Chennaiyin FC manager Owen Coyle wore a pleased look after his side thumped southern rival Kerala Blasters FC 3-1 in the Indian Super League ninth round contest at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
Andre Schembri, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Nerijus Valskis got on the scoresheet in the first half for Chennaiyin, which secured its second victory and sits eighth in the standings with nine points after eight matches. “Everything that we worked on in the training ground came to fruition. Before the match, we looked for a great performance and three points and we got them both,” Coyle told reporters at the post-match press conference.
“Ahead of the game, we felt we could cause Kerala some problems if we move the ball quickly. We utilised the spaces in behind with Chhangte and Schembri. My players stayed disciplined and focused despite some bizarre moments. Now that we have four points from the last two fixtures, our confidence levels are high,” added the CFC gaffer.
Following an action-packed opening 20 minutes which had two goals, the contest offered more drama around the hour-mark as referee Om Prakash Thakur made a blunder. The match official incorrectly awarded a free-kick for the home side after its midfielderAnirudh Thapa fouled Blasters’ Seityasen Singh.
CFC got on with the decision quickly and eventually put the ball past KBFC shotstopper TP Rehenesh, while the visiting defence was ball-watching.
As soon as Valskis made the net bulge, so many members from the Kerala contingent remonstrated with the man in charge, refusing to restart the game.
After consultation with the linesman and fourth official, Thakur disallowed the goal, much to the disbelief of the Chennaiyin camp. Giving his verdict on the series of events, the Scot said, “According to my understanding of the laws of the game, when the referee starts the play, the action starts right there. You cannot then bring it back and change the play. But it’s fine because we won the clash 3-1.”
CFC, which is on a four-match unbeaten run in ISL 6, is slowly starting to get into its groove and stands an outside chance of making it to the last four stage. Coyle said his team will fight tooth and nail to keep itself alive in the play-offs race.
“Sides are sharing the spoils in many games. So, if we keep winning, it will catapult us up the table. This club has shown that if you reach those places, marvellous things can happen,” stated the 53-year-old.