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)