ISL 2019-20: Chennaiyin FC 2-1 Hyderabad FC | 5 hits and flops
Chennaiyin FC broke their hoodoo with a 2-1 victory over Hyderabad FC in the 23rd game of the Indian Super League. The Blues were a testament to their character as they fought until the final second to secure their first victory of the season.
John Gregory's side had three guilt-edged opportunities in the first half but the mixture of misfortune and poor finishing forced the scoreline to stay intact. Robin Singh had the easiest chance of the game but the Indian striker failed to hit the target and take the lead.
The second half was lively, and the game intensified in the stoppage time with a late flurry of goals. Andre Schembri scored his first goal of the club in the 92nd minute. This was followed by a quick response from Matthew Kilgallon, who scored through a set-piece. When the game looked done and dusted, striker Nerijus Valskis was through on goal to find the back of the net and steal pivotal three points to lift some weight off John Gregory's shoulders.
There were several standout performers in this game. We shall look at five hits and flops as the two-time champions walk away with a victory for the first time this season.
#1 Hit - Anirudh Thapa
Anirudh Thapa was dropped in the previous game against Bengaluru FC but bounced back in style with a Man of the Match display. It was his third start of this season which saw him orchestrating in the defensive and offensive areas of the pitch to nullify the opponent's threats and win the midfield battle significantly.
The Indian international fed Thoi Singh and Lallianzuala Chhangte on several occasions but their failure to convert those chances gave Hyderabad a lifeline until the second half stoppage time. He also took the shot twice to test the opponent custodian, Kamaljit Singh.
With an abundance of energy, Thapa ran the show with constant running and made two interceptions to his name. Since signing for the club, the midfielder has struggled to produce a string of consistent performances. He will be hoping to shine in the forthcoming weeks and gradually elevate his side to a top four finish.