El Khayati show in Chennaiyin’s thumping victory
GUWAHATI: Chennaiyin FC put in a breathtaking performance on the road in a ten-goal torrent, coming out as 7-3 victor over NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Saturday.
Attacking midfielder Nasser El Khayati pulled the strings for the ‘Marina Machans’, bagging a hat-trick of goals and two assists, to set a new ISL record for most goal contributions in a match. El Khayati opened the scoring in the 11th minute before the home team equalised, and then sealed his hat-trick with goals on either side of the half-time whistle.
Petar Sliskovic also had a fine match up front with a brace, with one of his goals set up by El Khayati. Defensive midfielder Julius Duker was the other beneficiary of El Khayati’s stellar show, striking a 68th minute goal to wrap up a near-perfect attacking performance. Joe Zoherliana (79th) had a night to forget, guiding the ball into his own net to give Chennaiyin its seventh goal of the evening.
New NorthEast head coach Vincenzo Annese was taking charge of his team for the first time following the departure of Marco Balbul. It was a difficult start to his time in charge, but there were some positives to take back from the match. Wilmar Gil Jordan was on target from the penalty spot while Romain Philippoteaux smashed in a great volley in the second half. Rochharzela added another goal for the Highlanders five minutes into stoppage time.
The host’s early momentum was disrupted by El Khayati, who got on the end of an excellent cut-back from K Prasanth. El Khayati’s volley effort set the tone for his performance.
El Khayati, Sliskovic and Rahim Ali were a constant threat, with the Dutch midfielder getting his second with a brilliant bending effort four minutes after Jordan’s (36th) equaliser. Sliskovic’s brace included two headers, with his first coming from an excellent near-post run. Chennaiyin was heading into the second half with a 3-1 lead.
Whatever resolve NorthEast had earlier in the match was lost quite early in the second period as El Khayati completed his hat-trick with a driven effort from range. Sliskovic made it 5-1 for Chennaiyin in the 57th minute with another thumping header while Duker joined the party 11 minutes later.
RESULT: NorthEast United FC 3 (Jordan 36(P), R Philippoteaux 73, Rochharzela 90) lost to Chennaiyin FC 7 (N El Khayati 11, 40 & 48, P Sliskovic 45 & 57, J Duker 68, J Zoherliana 79(OG))