Hyderabad snatches 3 match points from Chennaiyin after a 3-1 win

Marina Arena witnessed the roaring of the Nizams!

Hyderabad thrashed down the challenge of Chennaiyin to throw them out of the Top 6 after the final scoreline of 3-1 in Matchday 9 of the 2022-23 Indian Super League

Halicharan Narzary (65′), Chinglensana Singh (74′) and Borja Herrera (85′) powered the Deccan Legion to pave their way into the Top 2 in style. The Marina Machans’ rough patch at home continues as they suffered the season’s third defeat in front of home fans at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. 

Both managers made a hefty number of changes in their lineups of the previous fixtures to turn for the Southern Derby in full strength. The high-profile attackers Joel Chianese and Halicharan Narzary returned to don the Yellow and Black outfits against neighborhood rivals while Rohit Danu was also called up for the matchday squad. The CFC gaffer Thomas Brdaric named four changes into the Starting Eleven bringing back the 22-year-old Goan forward Vincy Barreto into the lineup. 

The high-profile action commenced with the kick-off whistle of the referee Rahul Kumar Gupta as the visitors from the City of Nizams made the first touch on the match-ball against Chennaiyin donning the traditional All Blues. 

The Marina Machans displayed an aggressive intent in the initial minutes and started making moves in the opponent’s half early on the clock. The Tamil Nadu-based outfit used the wings pathway to pave their way into the opposition’s defense and created multiple chances that only lacked proper finishing. 

However, the Telangana-based club also gave it back to the home team firmly after subsequently denying their attempt to breach the Great Wall of Hyderabad. The defense department of the Yellow and Blacks seemed clinical during the ball clearance and also displayed robust defending in the initial phase of the game. The Nizams took their time to settle down at Marina Arena and then started performing counter-attacks against the home side. 

It's time for the Marina Machans to recollect themselves from the recent setbacks

It’s time for the Marina Machans to recollect themselves from the recent setbacks 

Those counter-attacks rewarded Hyderabad with momentum and the opportunity to tighten their grip on the game. In the 28th minute, Chennaiyin’s offense created a beautiful long ball where Petar Sliskovic could have broken the deadlock however, the Croatian Number 9 failed to breach the goalkeeper’s guard and the move was eventually disallowed as an offside later on. 

Hyderabad’s biggest chance to open the scoreline in the first half came when the Aussies forward Joel Chianese found himself in a one-on-one situation with the opponent goalkeeper outside the box. 

Debjit Majumdar somehow managed to clear the ball but could not control his clearance follow-through as his knees unintentionally landed on Chianese. Although the ball was still in danger and headed towards the skipper Bartholomew Ogbeche who also could not collect and deliver it into an open goal. 

After an intense first half, both of the rival managers did not want to break their own momentum and hence went on to name an unchanged eleven for the second-half action. Just like the whole 45 minutes saga of the first half, the story of the first 20 minutes of the second half was no different and the scoreline remained unaffected. The only big move from that timespan was Ogbeche dropping a golden opportunity after placing a strike directly at the hands of guardian Majumdar. 

Narzary becomes Hyderabad's leading goal-scorer of the season

Narzary becomes Hyderabad’s leading goal-scorer of the season 

In the 65th minute, Hyderabad was awarded a corner kick which they decided to take on a short distance and turned into the opening goal. Halicharan collected the ball after a couple of short passes from his teammates and placed it into the back of the net. Despite scoring a stunning long-ranger, Narzary was subbed off in the very next minute making way for Abdul Anjukandan to step onto the battlefield. 

The local boy Ajith Kumar who was playing in the right-back position received two yellow cards inside the 21 minutes of the second half which forced him to leave the pitch and it turned out to be the game-changing moment. The star Hyderabad central defender Chinglensana Singh capitalized on it quickly to double the lead through an incredible volley. 

The Marina Machans also kept themselves alive in the game by taking one goal back as Abdenasser El Khayati’s exemplary cross met with Sliskovic’s perfect finish. Another fabulous volley came from the HFC camp and this time it was the Spaniard super-sub Borja Herrera who sealed it for the Deccan Legion.  

The home fixture turned out to be a forgettable outcome for Chennaiyin who kept the game in control until the red card suspension of their home-grown defender Ajith. Among the flop knights of Chennaiyin, the Dutch playmaker Abdenasser El Khayati beamed like a ray of sunshine with a crucial contribution of 1 assist, 1 shot on target, 3 chances and 42 passes at an accuracy rate of 48%. Low ball possession and a diminished passing record of just 196 successful passes were the key reasons behind their bittering defeat on the home turf. 

The domestic core of Hyderabad completely stole the show against the side which consisted of many of the high-profile foreign names. The sensational left-back Akash Mishra who was making his ISL career’s 50th appearance played a pivotal role in defense and offense as well. Meanwhile, the likes of Chinglensana Singh, Halicharan Narzary and goalie Gurmeet Singh also had a lion’s share in making the Deccan Legion proud at the home of neighborhood rivals. 

Hyderabad will now head back to their fortress Gachibowli Stadium where they will be summoned by the East Bengal side. The Yellow and Blacks will be turning up for the forthcoming home game with a motivated roster and will be aiming to extend their stay in the Top 2. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin is set to depart for Guwahati to challenge the bottom-placed NorthEast United and find their way back into the Top 6.