Vafa nets winner for Chennaiyin

Vafa nets winner for Chennaiyin

Chennaiyin made just one alteration, with Debjit Majumder returning in goal after serving his one-match suspension.

KOLKATA: Chennaiyin FC walked away from Kolkata with three points for the second time this season as it defeated East Bengal FC 1-0 in the Indian Super League 2022-23 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday.

Chennaiyin central defender Vafa Hakhamaneshi scored the only goal of the match in the 69th minute, not long before he was sent off. Both sides finished with ten men as East Bengal’s Sarthak Golui was also shown the marching orders, in the 75th minute.

The host was unchanged as head coach Stephen Constantine fielded the same eleven that started in the ‘Kolkata Derby’ last week. Chennaiyin made just one alteration, with Debjit Majumder returning in goal after serving his one-match suspension.

Two minutes into the game, Jordan O’Doherty found himself in space inside the CFC box, but his cross was blocked by Fallou Diagne before it could do any damage. At the other end, just after the ten-minute mark, Petar Sliskovic was picked out with a through ball from Anirudh Thapa. The angle was tight and Sliskovic’s attempt struck the post.

Approaching the midway point of the first half, VP Suhair tried to catch the visitor off-guard with a quick counter. The flag stayed down as Suhair galloped towards goal before placing his effort wide of the far post. In the 34th minute, Thapa sold a dummy inside the East Bengal box before seeing his powerful shot saved by Kamaljit Singh.

Two minutes later, Vafa was almost punished for his complacency at the edge of the Chennaiyin box. The Iranian delayed a pass to the goalkeeper before losing his footing. Cleiton Silva pounced on the ball, but saw his shot from a tight angle fly wide.

Five minutes into the second half, a CFC corner was cleared, but only as far as Rahim Ali, who was lurking at the edge of the box. On the volley, the Indian forward tried to find the bottom right corner, but his effort was just wide. A few minutes later, Kamaljit produced another save to deny winger K Prasanth.

The match had 0-0 written all over it till the 69th minute. Substitute Aakash Sangwan whipped a good ball in from a corner and Vafa was the first to reach and nod it in from close range, giving the ‘Marina Machans’ a crucial lead. However, the centre-back received a second yellow card for his celebration as the tourist was down to ten men.

Just a little over five minutes after the incident, the home team was also reduced to ten men. Sarthak, who was booked in the first half, was forced to have an early shower after connecting his elbow with Thapa in midfield.

RESULT: East Bengal FC 0 lost to Chennaiyin FC 1 (Vafa 69)

1 Chennaiyin FC bagged its first clean sheet of the ISL season

2After a two-match winless run, CFC returned to winning ways

2The ‘Marina Machans’ secured its second ISL win in Kolkata this season

3 On Friday, centre-back Vafa Hakhamaneshi scored his third goal in Chennaiyin colours

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