Successful penalty kicks from Crivellaro and Murray help Chennaiyin plunder Bengaluru 2-0
Chennaiyin has barged into the Top 6 of the Indian Super League standings after registering an emphatic 2-0 triumph over the rivals Bengaluru at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the capital city of Tamil Nadu.
Two successfully capitalized penalties by Rafael Crivellaro and Jordan Murray at the start of both halves kept the Tamil Blues ahead throughout the battle. Renedy Singh’s interim reign in charge of Namma Blues started in despair as they lost the crucial Matchday 10 fixture convincingly.
Chennaiyin made only a single change in their starting XI from the Jamshedpur tie, setting the stage for Vincy Barretto to make a comeback. The Goan midfielder replaced the injured Farukh Choudhary in the offensive setup.
The newly appointed interim boss of Bengaluru, Renedy Singh turned up with multiple changes in the lineup hoping for a quick turnaround of the Blues. Namgyal Bhutia donned the right-back position while the English striker Curtis Main was replaced by the 22-year-old forward Sivasakthi Narayanan.
The home team instigated the high-voltage action at Marina Arena aggressively leaving no time for the visitors to settle down in the initial minutes. The Marina Machans even succeeded with their intentions of earning an edge over the neighborhood rivals as the home crowd erupted in celebrations quite early.
While clearing a threatening cross by Ninthoi, Namgyal Bhutia could not control his hand movement in a headed attempt and gave away an evident penalty. Rafael Crivellaro stepped up to take the penalty for Chennaiyin and made no mistake in converting it into the first goal of the night. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu almost anticipated the correct direction of the kick but his dive was still not enough to stop the Brazilian playmaker from making it 1-0 in the 6th minute.
Just a couple of minutes after the opening goal, another appeal for a handball penalty was made and this time it came from the visitors’ camp but the plea was eventually denied by the referee.
Despite enjoying the early success, Marina Machans kept their efforts of doubling the lead going in the first half and came close to achieving it. Vincy Barretto almost pulled it off on his own in the 37th minute but his rocking right-footed strike was convincingly turned down by Gurpreet with a superb save.
Chennaiyin left the battlefield for the half-time break delivering a satisfying performance and it was the Blues that had an urge to reconsider their approach having a forgettable first half.
When both of these southern combatants returned to commence the second-half action, we witnessed the story of the first half being replicated as the hosts once again got an early breakthrough.
An inappropriate foul by the young central midfielder Harsh Patre on Crivellaro at the mouth of the 18-yard box resulted in another penalty kick being awarded to the home team. Crivellaro handed the ball to Jordan Murray and the Australian forward struck a stunning strike in the right bottom corner to grace his name on the scoresheet.
The substitute changes in the form of Rohit Danu, Monirul Molla, and Shivaldo Singh brought breezing energy into the Namma Blues attack while Owen Coyle’s substitutions indicated that his side intended for a defensive approach to protect the two-goal lead.
Bengaluru’s closest chance to move the scorecard came in the 80th minute when a curling cross from the left flank by Monirul found Sivasakthi in a dangerous position who attempted a diving header in the hope of striking the ball into the net but was unable to outclass the Chennaiyin guardian Debjit Majumder.
Majumder who enjoyed great comfort in the majority of the game had to come out of his solace to protect the goalline. However, the veteran goalkeeper stood tall for his side as the hosts sealed the final scoreline of 2-0.
Marina Machans took a major leap in the points table barging into the Top 6 after accomplishing their third three-point prowess of the season. Chennaiyin’s next fixture is up against the Northern challengers Punjab at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Monday.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru is dealing with a serious crisis as we are almost midway through the league season after parting ways with their foreign head coach Simon Grayson after only one victory in the first ten fixtures. The Namma Blues will now be turning back home after a short turnaround to defend their fortress Kanteerava Stadium against Jamshedpur this Saturday in the early kickoff.