Chennaiyin goes down to Hyderabad 1-3

After getting on the end of a superb cross-field pass from Sajal Bag, Thapa came up with an extraordinary finish to beat HFC goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani.
Chennaiyin FC skipper Anirudh Thapa’s superb goal went in vain
Chennaiyin FC skipper Anirudh Thapa’s superb goal went in vain

CHENNAI: Ten-man Chennaiyin FC went down 1-3 to Hyderabad FC in the Durand Cup Group C match at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Friday.

Chennaiyin took the lead through skipper Anirudh Thapa minutes before half-time, but Hyderabad made a roaring comeback in the second half, thanks to a brace from Bartholomew Ogbeche and a penalty conversion from Joao Victor.

CFC head coach Thomas Brdaric made three alterations to the starting line-up with Gurmukh Singh, Ninthoi Meetei and Rahim Ali making their way into the eleven. Chennaiyin dominated the proceedings in the first half, but both teams failed to create proper goal-scoring opportunities. But, Thapa broke the deadlock three minutes from the breather.

After getting on the end of a superb cross-field pass from Sajal Bag, Thapa came up with an extraordinary finish to beat HFC goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani. About 10 minutes into the second period, Hyderabad was awarded a penalty after Chennaiyin centre-back Fallou Diagne was sent off for a handball clearance off the line.

In the 56th minute, Victor stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to level the score. Eight minutes later, Ogbeche gave HFC a 2-1 lead by heading the ball home following an expertly-taken free-kick from Mohammed Yasir.

The veteran Nigerian striker handed Hyderabad a two-goal cushion in the 74th minute with another header, this time from Lalchungnunga Chhangte’s cross. CFC right-back Ajith Kumar came close to scoring, but his powerful shot from outside the box was saved by Kattimani.

Croatian centre-forward Petar Sliskovic hit the woodwork in injury time for Chennaiyin, which has only a solitary point from its first two matches. For a second successive game, overseas recruits Vafa Hakhamaneshi and Rafael Crivellaro sat out (they were not even part of the matchday squad).

RESULT: Hyderabad FC 3 (J Victor 56(P), B Ogbeche 64 & 74) bt Chennaiyin FC 1 (A Thapa 42)

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