ISL: Chennaiyin FC Edge Kerala Blasters 1-0 In South Indian Derby
Chennaiyin FC edged Kerala Blasters 1-0 in the second South Indian derby of the Indian Super League. An 87th minute goal from Pellisari, following a superb dribble gave the visitors a slender lead, which would prove to be the ultimate deficit. Although Kerala Blasters made more chances, it was Chennaiyin FC who grabbed their chances and bagged all three points.
Lining up in a 4-4-2, Kerala Blasters once again deployed Sandesh Jhigan on the right hand side of defense, while Falvey and Gurwinder Singh, started in the heart of defense. Penn Orji was once again excluded from the starting eleven and Pearson alongside Romey, constituted the dynamic midfield duo. The attacking line was led by the partnership of Iain Hume and Milagres Gonsalves.
Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC started with a 4-3-1-2. Mikael Silvestre came back into the side and replaced makeshift Right back Harmanjot Khabra. Although Chennaiyin missed prolific names such as Elano and Steven Mendoza, the visitors made up with their new found revelation Djemba-Djemba, who plied his trade in the heart of midfield. Jeje and Balwant Singh led the line for the Marco Materazzi managed side.
A goalless first half was perhaps the right reflection of the match in the opening forty five minutes. Although, both sides created equal goal scoring opportunities, either failed to cash in on them.
Kerala Blasters’s defense was regularly tested by the wits and tricks of live wire Jeje and Balwant Singh. Chennaiyin FC clearly dominated proceedings in the first fifteen minutes of the first half as the acumen of Pellisari proved too much for the Kerala midfield. Kerala came back into the match and found their feet, while creating numerous good scoring opportunities.
Similar to the first, the second half started with Chennai on the front foot. Though Kerala, once again resisted Chennaiyin’s advance, they often failed to match in the visitors in the midfield department.
After a barrage of chances missed by both the contingents, Chennaiyin FC capitalized on a sheer stroke of genius as Pellisari’s 87th minute goal, gave the visitors a much hard fought win. Pellisari’s goal highlighted his genuine abilities, as the midfielder dribbled from his own half and scored on the opposing end, beating the imposing figure of David James.
With the win, league leaders Chennaiyin FC distance themselves from the rest of the Super League table and sit comfortably with twenty two points. Kerala Blasters however, retain their position of fourth.