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ISL 2019-20: Owen Coyle lauds 'non-stop' effort after Chennaiyin put away NorthEast United

  • Coyle feels that the team is moving in the right direction with all players playing well.
Modified 01 Apr 2020, 17:29 IST

Owen Coyle [Image: ISL]
Owen Coyle [Image: ISL]

Chennaiyin FC comfortably beat NorthEast United 2-0 in the Indian Super League on Thursday evening to keep their push for a playoff place alive. The scoreline in fact did not reflect how dominant Chennaiyin were in this game with their own profligacy and some desperate saves from opposition keeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury keeping the scoreline respectable.

After a frustrating first half where Chennaiyin failed to put away easy opportunities, their Brazilian maestro Rafael Crivellaro broke the deadlock with a delightful effort from almost the halfway line, his sumptuous lob catching Roy Chowdhury off his line. Chennaiyin's leading goalscorer of the season, Nerijus Valskis, then added the second, taking advantage of a poor clearance from NorthEast after Roy Chowdhury had saved from Andre Schembri.

Owen Coyle was delighted at the post-match presser with his team's efforts.

"We created a lot of chances, I thought some of the football today was outstanding," said Coyle.

"Of course had we scored with the other chances we had we could have made it an easier game. Nirka had one in the first half and so did Andre (Schembri) and after the goals we had a few more," said Coyle referring to the copious amount of chances that his side created.

With this win, Chennaiyin have registered back-to-back wins in the league stage of the ISL for the first time since December 2017. This result also comes on the back of their first away win of the season, against Hyderabad FC in their previous game.

"Breaking the away hoodoo and getting back-to-back wins is huge. I feel we're now playing the kind of football that a 2-time champion like Chennaiyin should be producing. We're showing we're a good side, playing some quality, entertaining football. I think overall it was an outstanding night for our fans and for the team."

Asked about Crivellaro's goal Coyle said: "Rafa is always aware of opportunities, he's always conscious of what the opponents are up to. He actually tried a similar one in the game against Hyderabad, but it was a little off. Today he produced a moment of quality, we felt it the moment it left his boot."

Germanpreet Singh missed this game due to suspension and Coyle instead of a straight swap opted to push regular right-back Edwin Vanspaul to midfield and brought in Laldinliana Ralte at right back. Edwin had a brilliant game in the middle of the park with Anirudh Thapa, setting the stage for Chennaiyin's dominance.


"We didn't move Edwin to midfield on a whim. With German suspended we tried 2 or 3 different things in training. And we found that the balance with Edwin and Thapa was fantastic, the rest of the players also felt comfortable. And Edwin is a fantastic passer of the ball," said Coyle about the move.

"We are the only team playing two Indian players in the centre of midfield. I love working with all the Indian players that I have."

Chennaiyin also kept just their second clean sheet of the season, something the coach was very happy about.

"I think for all the fanfare that the attacking players receive, our defence did a tidy job today. Vishal Kaith produced a brilliant save right at the end to make sure we didn't concede. That's what we need to avoid getting into a hole and needing to score. So it was very important for us today that we shut out our opponents."

With the win, Chennaiyin move up to sixth in the table and next entertain Jamshedpur FC, at home, next Thursday on January 23rd.

Published 17 Jan 2020, 07:00 IST
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