Chennaiyin FC B succumbed to a hard-fought 2-1 defeat to Bengaluru's Ozone FC at the SSN College Ground in Chennai on Tuesday.
This was their first loss in the 2nd Division League this season after draws in their opening two games. Joysana Singh's first-half goal for CFC B was overturned by Ozone with two goals in the last quarter of the match.
Debutant BY Revanth came into the CFC goal for the suspended Sayak Barai. Full backs Joseph Lalsanglura and Charles Britto replaced Surya Tirkey and the injured Bibin Boban, as Ajin Tom started in midfield.
Ozone began brightly and had a header saved from Chika Wali in the third minute from close range as Revanth did well to hold on.
After seeing off the initial Ozone pressure, CFC B began to venture forward, with half chances falling the way of strikers Bawlte Rohmingthanga and Krishna Pandit.
With quarter of the game, Revanth was tested again, this time by a header from Shaiborlang Kharpan, which came straight at him from ten yards out.
Shortly after, Rohmingthanga came close to giving CFC the lead. A long ball from Joseph created uncertaindty in the Ozone box, as the ball fell in the striker's path. The Mizo's looping header however landed on the roof of the net with the keeper stranded.
With the first half drawing to a close, CFC took the lead following some quick thinking by Rohmingthanga. Having drawn a foul, the striker spotted Joysana Singh's run into the box and put him through, catching the Ozone defence napping. Joysana took a touch and fired it low past the keeper to make it 1-0 to CFC.
Chennaiyin then came close to doubling the lead on the stroke of half-time. Joseph led the counter-attack and freed Rohmingthanga with a through ball on the right. The latter found his strike-partner Krishna with a precise cut-back, whose shot went just wide of the target.
The team from Bengaluru expectedly pushed on in the second period in search of the equalizer as CFC continued to play largely on the counter.
Ozone eventually levelled the score in the last quarter, albeit under fortuitous circumstances. Chika Wali's cross from the right took a headed deflection off Prabin Tigga and looped past Revanth into the top corner.
Couple of minutes later, Revanth came to CFC's rescue to keep it 1-1. The Chennai-based custodian made himself big after an error at the back had let Ozone forward Manvir Singh through one-on-one. Revanth thwarted the effort from point-blank range and held on to the rebound as well.
Ozone however completed the comeback in the closing stages, with Manvir heading a corner in at the near post on 84 minutes.
CFC kept fighting till the end in search of the equalizer, with Aman Chetri winning free-kicks in the attacking third. From one such set-piece, Joseph had a richocheted effort cleared off the line by an Ozone defender.
CFC B return to action in the 2nd Division League a month later on Friday 22nd February 2019 against Fateh Hyderabad AFC at the FSV Arena in Bengaluru.
Score: Chennaiyin FC B 1 (Joysana Singh 41’) lost to Ozone FC 2 (Prabin Tigga (OG) 70’, Manvir Singh 84’)