Chennaiyin plays a 0-0 draw with Churchill Brothers, NorthEast United shocks Mumbai City 2-1 in Group D

Chennaiyin’s Anirudh Thapa put in a good shift but it all went in vain

Chennaiyin and Churchill Brothers played out a 0-0 draw at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri in their Group D encounter in the 2023 Super Cup. In the evening kick-off game, Jordan Gil’s brace was enough to power NorthEast United to a 2-1 win over the 2022-23 ISL League Shield winners Mumbai City

Chennaiyin squander chances to play a 0-0 draw with Churchill Brothers 

Chennaiyin fielded themselves in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Samik Mitra donning the gloves. Edwin Vanspaul, Vafa Hakhamaneshi, Fallou Diagne, and Narayan Das played as the back four with Jiteshwor Singh and Julius Duker deployed as the two central defensive midfielders. Rahim Ali and Aakash Sangwan attacked through the wings with Anirudh Thapa playing centrally to feed balls to the lone striker Kwame Karikari. 

Churchill Brothers, on the other hand, fielded in a 4-4-2 formation with Nora Fernandes guarding the sticks. Joseph Clemente, Akash Mukherjee, Zacharie Mbenda, and Lalremruata formed the back four. The midfield was controlled by Kingslee Fernandes, Lamgoulen Gogou, Richard Costa, and Anil Gaonkar with Martin Chaves and Ansumana Kromah leading the lines. 

The Marina Machans got a chance to break the deadlock in the 7th minute when Vafa took a shot from inside the box. But, Costa made a goal-line clearance to keep the scoreline unchanged. Kromah surged forward and took a shot with a tight angle, however, Chennaiyin’s Mitra dived full fledge to parry the ball away in the 28th minute. 

Five minutes later, Gogou dispossessed Narayan and crossed the ball towards the centre and Kromah found himself in the perfect position but his header ballooned over the crossbar. 

In the 43rd minute, Thapa crossed a vicious cross inside the box but Fernandes tipped the ball over the crossbar. The Churchill goalkeeper was once again called into action in the third minute of additional time when he parried Fallou’s shot from inside the box. 

Karikari took a shot in the 69th minute but Fernandes booted it away to safety. In the dying embers of the game, Edwin stepped up to take a free kick from the edge of the box but it flew inches above the crossbar. The full-time scoreline read 0-0 as Churchill Brothers won a point for their resolute defending. 

Jordan Gil’s brace helps NorthEast United beat an all-Indian Mumbai City outfit 

Jordan Gill celebrates after scoring a penalty against Mumbai City

Mumbai City took the field in a 4-3-3 formation with Phurba Lachenpa behind the sticks. Hardik Bhatt, Rahul Bheke, Mehtab Singh, and Vignesh D formed the back four with Rowllin Borges, Apuia, and Vinit Rai playing as the three central midfielders. Bipin Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, and Vikram Pratap Singh formed the front three.

NorthEast United entered the field in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Mirshad Michu donning the gloves. Tondonba Singh, Alex Saji, Alisher Kholmurodov, and Joe Zoherliana played as the back four. Mohammed Irshad and Joseba Beitia were the two defensive midfielders in the middle of the park with Jithin MS, Gani Nigam, and Emil Benny playing as the three attacking midfielders. Wilmar Jordan Gil was the lone striker in the Highlanders’ outfit.  

In the 3rd minute, the Islanders got the first chance of the game through Vikram in the right flank but Mirshad palmed it away with ease. Unluckily, Chhangte’s shot in the 5th minute from outside the box struck the woodwork. NorthEast knocked on the doors in the 7th minute when Gani towered above his marker to connect Irshad’s cross but his header was inches away. 

Gil’s header in the 25th minute off Benny’s free-kick struck the crossbar and the Highlanders were finally rewarded when Mehtab Singh handled Joe’s cross in the 32nd minute. Gil waited for the keeper to commit and blasted the ball into the roof of the net. 

Emil found Saji through on goal in the 50th minute but the latter’s shot was saved by Phurba. Luckily, the rebound fell towards the path of Gil who slotted the ball home. Substitute Ayush Chhikara struck the crossbar from a distance in the 66th minute for Mumbai City. 

The crossbar proved to be lucky for the Islanders in the 85th minute when Apuia’s venomous shot hit the underside of the woodwork and trickled into the net. However, it turned into a mere consolation as NorthEast gained the upper hand with a 2-1 win. 

NorthEast United will take on Churchill Brothers in their final group stage encounter of the Super Cup 2023 and will look to book their tickets to the semi-finals. However, it will be the clash between Chennaiyin and Mumbai City that will decide their fate as a win for the Marina Machans will close all their doors.