Two goals in the first half sealed the deal for Chennaiyin FC as the defending champions clinched their first victory this season. In a repeat of last year’s final, the game was never really close as Chennaiyin dominated from the get go and had a touch of good fortune to hand them, what was in the end, a comfortable 2-0 home win.
The win helps get Chennaiyin’s campaign off and running as they climb to 5th place on the table after having won, lost and drawn one each of their three games. While Marco Materazzi’s men finally showed signs of quality, Zico and his men are in uncharted territories.
Goa, who qualified for the semi-finals in each of the last two editions are the only team yet to score a point as they succumbed to their third loss in as many games. And at time looked completely out of sorts.
Here are the five biggest talking points from the game:
#1 Materazzi’s changes work wonders
The Italian had to take some tough calls after getting only one point from their opening two games. And he certainly didn’t shy away from the task on hand. The changes were visible when the team sheet came out, it certainly reflected what he felt about their 1-3 drubbing against Delhi Dynamos last time around.
The team saw skipper Bernard Mendy and keeper Duwayne Kerr dropped after having a nightmare against Delhi last time round. There was also no place fro Jeje Lalpekhlua in the side. The change in goalkeeper, in fact, proved vital as with keeper Karanjit Singh in between the sticks, Materazzi was able to field a trio of foreigners in the middle of the pitch.
The impressive Raphael Augusto and Hans Mulder had Manuel Blasi alongside them who played in a much deeper role to let the others express themselves going forward. The three dominated the middle of the pitch and were instrumental in handing Chennai their first three points of the season.