Chennaiyin FC ended their winless streak in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) by picking up a crucial 2-1 win over Odisha FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim. The Marina Machans now sit on fifth with 14 points from 11 matches.
Here are the 4 things we learned from the match:
#4 Diego Mauricio continues to score rasping goals for Odisha FC
After being two goals down at half-time, Odisha FC's coach Stuart Baxter made a double change by bringing Diego Mauricio and Daniel Lalhlimpuia in place of Marcelinho and Jerry Mawihmingthanga. The move paid dividends as one of the substitutes scored a goal.
Odisha FC's Cole Alexander won a second ball at the center of the park and headed it towards Mauricio. Striding forward a couple of steps with the ball, Mauricio unleashed a shot from 25 yards that beat Chennaiyin FC's goalkeeper.
The Brazilian is now tied with Roy Krishna, Adam Le Fondre, and Aridane Santana with six goals in the tournament.
#3 Chennaiyin FC produce a disciplined performance in the back
Chennaiyin FC's back four of Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Enes Sipovic, and Jerry Lalrinzuala need to be applauded for their disciplined performance in the back. The quartet ensured that Odisha FC didn't register a single shot on target from inside the box.
The center-back pairing of Sabia and Sipovic combined to make 10 clearances for Chennaiyin FC. The full-backs Reagan and Jerry made 3 tackles each and contributed offensively by lodging in good crosses.
Chennaiyin FC has conceded the most number of goals (4) from corner-kicks. However, they changed their pattern of defending from zonal marking to man-marking and saw out the danger.
#2 Odisha FC's defensive mistakes early in the game haunt them
Gaurav Bora produced a terrific display in their previous match against Chennaiyin FC. But, in the reverse fixture, his mistakes were directly responsible for Odisha FC conceding two goals.
The Marina Machans could have taken the lead as early as the 5th minute when Isma muscled past Bora to receive a pass from Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev. However, he skied his final effort.
But, he made up for his mistakes ten minutes later by capitalizing on a mistimed clearance from Bora. Isma dashed through the centre to strike the ball past Odisha FC's goalkeeper.
In the 20th minute, Bora brought down Thapa inside the penalty box and, Isma completed his brace.
#1 Esmael Goncalves solves Chennaiyin FC's striking woes
Chennaiyin FC coach Csaba Laszlo made a bold decision by relegating Jakub Sylvestyr to the bench. The Slovakian has missed some glorious chances for his team and has scored only one goal from 24 shots.
Esmael Goncalves has played as a winger throughout his career but was deployed as a centre-forward against Odisha FC. And, Isma repaid his coach's faith by scoring a brace.
Chennaiyin FC was guilty of missing some gilt-edged opportunities in the past. With Isma regaining his fitness and converting those chances into goals, the future looks bright for the Marina Machans.Published 13 Jan 2021, 23:54 IST