In Match No. 47 of the Indian Super League (ISL), Hyderabad FC beat Chennaiyin FC 4-1. Hyderabad FC came into the game on the back of three consecutive defeats. Chennaiyin FC went into the match, having played out a draw in their last two assignments.
Both teams wanted a win to move up the points table. A loss would make qualifying for the playoffs difficult for both.
The game started on a bright note as Hyderabad FC created three chances within five minutes. Chennaiyin FC failed to create any such precise openings in the first half.
Hyderabad FC scored early in the second half through Joel Chianese. Halicharan Narzary then contributed a goal to double Hyderabad FC's lead. Anirudh Thapa pulled one back for Chennaiyin FC before Joao Victor found the back of the net for the Nizams. Halicharan Narzary scored his second of the night in the 79th minute to make it four for Hyderabad FC.
Let us take a look at four things we learned from today's game.
#4 Redemption for Halicharan Narzary
Halicharan Narzary was once the first-choice left winger/midfielder for the Indian national team under Stephen Constantine. He fell out of favor during the latter stages of Constantine's era.
Under Igor Stimac, he has not been in the reckoning. The winger from Assam has been at the receiving end of some harsh criticism in the past few seasons. Halicharan had a few poor seasons with NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters.
His runs down the left wing have been crucial for Hyderabad FC this season. His crosses have been pinpoint, and he has chipped in with some vital goals at critical moments.
The way he has lent support to the defence is also praiseworthy. Due to his support, Hyderabad FC left-back Akash Mishra has been able to venture forward so much.
#3 Chennaiyin's defence a cause of concern
Chennaiyin FC defence has looked porous at times during the season, and today the floodgates opened right from the kick-off. It was due to Vishal Kaith's heroics that Chennaiyin kept a clean sheet in the first half.
The Chennaiyin defence had Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Sipovic, and Jerry. The four had a torrid time as the Hyderabad FC attackers made them chase shadows for most of the game.
The centre-back pairing of Eli Sabia and Sipovic had significant communication gaps, which was why Chennaiyin conceded the first goal. Chennaiyin FC need to get their defensive act sorted if they want to reach the final like last year.
#2 Laxmikant Kattimani the cause of concern for Hyderabad FC
While it looked like a perfect textbook performance for Hyderabad FC, they conceded a silly goal and failed to keep a clean sheet. Laxmikant Kattimani failed to deal with a regulation cross from Reagan Singh and laid the ball at Anirudh Thapa's feet. The latter made no mistake in tapping the ball into an open net.
It was not just this, but also a couple of other incidents that will cause the Hyderabad FC management to have some concerns regarding their goalkeeper. If the Nizams are to challenge for a playoff place, they will need their goalkeeper to perform at his best.
#1 Hyderabad FC's Indian brigade exceeds expectations
Hyderabad FC have been one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season. The reason though is not their foreign signings but their Indian players.
The Nizams have managed to recruit some of the brightest prospects along with some seasoned campaigners this season. The balance between young and experience has been crucial for Hyderabad FC.
Players like Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Akash Mishra, Liston Colaco, Md Yasir, and Halicharan Narzary have impressed everyone. Even players, who were rejected by other teams like Souvik Chakrabarti and Hitesh Sharma, have been doing well.
Their Indian players are the main reason why Hyderabad FC have played good football despite injuries to foreigners.Published 04 Jan 2021, 23:23 IST