FULL-TIME FC Pune City’s fairy tale has ended, with the Stallions failing to produce their third successive win.Chennaiyin FC have earned their much needed (and much deserved, on this night) win as they climb up the ISL table to fifth spot. With four games left,they still boast a fair chance of reaching the playoff stages for the third consecutive season.
90+1′ Lucca earns a freekick after being manhandled by four men in blue shirts, but the Brazilian knows it of new use at this stage.
90′ Riise’s freekick lacks the attacking intent as the former Liverpool man sends the ball to the Chennaiyin half.As expected, a long ball is the outcome, but nothing comes out of it.
Less than 20,000 fans have turned up, with 19773 tickets being sold. That is hundreds short of the number Materazzi expected as he wanted more than 30,000 fans to show up.
87′ Eli Sabia replaces Succi as Chennaiyin revert to a three-man central defense. They have hardly impressed with such a setup, but they have very little time to mess things up this time.
84′ Habas cuts a frustrated figure near the touchline as Traore fluffs a rather easy opportunity to half the lead from eight yards out.
82′ Raphael leaves the pitch with Chennaiyin marquee player Riise coming on. It looks a precaution to avoid an injury to the talismanic Brazilian.
80′ Riise warms up as Chennaiyin look determined not to concede late. Given Chennaiyin’s confidence on the ball, even a miracle cannot see Karanjit beaten.
79′ Ndoye replaces Anibal, who has had a tough night against Man of the Match hopeful Eder.
78′ Raphael appears to elbow Tato, but the Spaniard is uninterested in making the most out of it as they shake hands afterwards.
76′ Blasi comes off for Sahni as the home fans offer the Italian their appreciation. Less than 15 minutes left before Chennaiyin move to fifth spot
74′ Sissoko sends in an exquisite cross, but Karanjit comes off his line to catch it to frustrate the Mali international.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) November 15, 2016
71′ Blasi has proved an important player on the roster as his ability to orchestrate the play has seen Chennaiyin lose fewer balls than they usually do. His passing has been on point as he almost always manages to find an unmarked teammate.
68′ Tato replaces Eduardo, but City are definitely going home empty handed as they look completely exhausted.
67′ Sahni takes off his layers as he gets ready to come off. Jeje should be sacrificed after the amount of running he has done this game.
65′ Chennaiyin attempt yet another long ball, and Jerry collects it this time only for Eduardo to win the ball with a well-timed tackle.
62′ Jeje and Raphael combine superbly down the left flank, with the latter mesmerizing the fans with sublime skills, but nothing comes out of it as City clear the danger.
59′ Chennaiyin’s long ball game has proved effective, with either goal coming after a long ball. They seem keen to retain this strategy as they continue to hoof the ball up to the 18-yard box. City are now aware of their strategy as they deal with every long ball impeccably. If there is ever a time to make through balls, now is it.
57′ Succi has been a different animal today, with his layoffs, first-time passes and target man play inviting his teammates to join the attack. Dudu can hibernate until the season is over.
55′ Sissoko attempts a counter-attack, but his teammates lack the chemistry to make it happen. City need a miracle to even half the lead.
53′ By the looks of things, City are in for a long night, with Chennaiyin’s safety first approach producing the result Materazzi has been yearning for.
51′ GOOOALLL!!! Succi doubles the lead for Chennaiyin. The Italian guides a delightful Raphael cross, and the ‘keeper had absolutely no chance whatsoever.
49′ Lucca has yet another shot on target. After being deflected, his effort beats every Chennaiyin player, and it took a superb save from Karanjit to avoid an equalizer.
48′ Lucca has a shot on goal from a tight angle, and Karanjit fails to catch it as he concedes a corner. City squander yet another chance to create a chance
47′ With no support up front, Traore looks isolated, and the Mendy-Eder partnership have rendered him innocuous.
46′ Second half is under way. Tell @KhelNow on Twitter whom you think will end up claiming all three points.
Chennaiyin have turned to Z-List celebrities to woo the crowd, but the crowd are not having it. It is about time they considered ISL a sport rather than a two-hour entertainment TV show.
HALF-TIME Given Chennaiyin’s history of conceding in the final minutes, Materazzi should ensure complacency does not affect his team.The Marina Machans head into the half-time break with a thoroughly deserved lead.
The Marina Arena faithful have been vocal and supportive of the manager and players in spite of Chennaiyin’s position in the ISL table. This positive energy (and shrewd team selection) should suffice to guide them to the playoffs.
44′ GOOOALLLLL!!! Jeje Scored for Chennai. Jeje nods in from close range with Succi’s layoff setting up the goal. Jerry’s crossing finally pays off.
39′ Mundampara’s freekick is cleared, but Mendy takes control of the rebound before spraying a pass to Mundampara. He sends in a delicious cross, but Edel parries it away.
37′ Succi and Jeje seem to work together perfectly, with either player operating both as a target man and a runner alternatively. However, the City defense have proved too solid to crack.
36′ City now seem to build momentum, winning set pieces in dangerous situations and it is circumstances like this that prove costly for Chennaiyin as they have conceded a huge chunk of goals from set pieces.
34′ Das swings in a cross, but a Wadoo block earns City a corner-kick. Lucca produces an in-swinger, but Karanjit has no trouble catching it.
33′ Eder has been an imposing presence, and the defender forces a poor touch from Das as he further cements his position as a destroyer.
29′ Mendy steps up to take a free-kick from a dangerous position, with the fans cheering as they have never done this season. The Chennaiyin captain fails to find a blue shirt, though.
27′ Chennaiyin have dominated possession although many passes were made sideways. They have so far kept their defensive shape, with Eder being the tough tackler and Mendy averting danger, courtesy of his superb reading. Midfield lacks creativity, but Materazzi shall appreciate the solidity. Should the strikers find the chemistry, they can easily find the opener.
25′ Blasi finds Succi after winning possession near Chennaiyin’s penalty box. The Italian centre-forward dribbles from the defensive third to the attacking third before having a poor attempt at goal. Chennaiyin players need to pass, especially if a teammate is in a better goal-scoring position.
23′ City custodian Edel needs medical attention after a collision that looked rather nasty. Bhattacharya warms up, but Edel looks ready to continue.
21′ Raphael turns a City defender and has a shot that sails miles away from the target. With the amount of space he had, he should have opted for a pass, with two Chennaiyin players waiting on either side of him.
20′ After a few lacklustre displays, Succi has so far displayed why his countryman picks him often as he looks a real threat, often forcing mistakes and crucial interceptions.
17′ With Chennaiyin playing four defensive midfielders, they hardly have an attacking outlet in the attacking half. Wadoo has made the most number of passes in the attacking half, surprisingly.
15′ Very little is happening, with Chennaiyin opting for sideways passes rather than risky long balls and dribbles. Their rare moments of bravery causes no danger either, with City’s defense having a good game so far.
12′ Raphael has been assigned an advanced role today, with Blasi and Mundampara forming the double pivot. Should he manage interceptions in the attacking half, he will create chances in aplenty. Chennaiyin’s lineup is promising, but they have often failed to deliver.
10′ The battle between Eder and Traore has been mind-boggling so far, with both strong human specimens trying to outmuscle the other.
8′ Raphael dribbles past three white shirts and finds Jeje, who sends the ball back to the Brazilian. Raphael spurns an easy opportunity to create a clear-cut chance as he delays his pass only to have a shot that has no power whatsoever.
5′ Neither teams is ready to give away possession,with both teams’ midfield making crucial interceptions near the halfway line.
2′ Lucca earns a freekickand steps up to take it. Mendy is caught sleeping as he unintentionally intercepts, conceding a corner kick.
1′ Succi kicks things off for Chennaiyin. The home side decide not to hurry as they pass sideways before Wadoo gives the ball away with an unsuccessful long ball.
6:58 pm The Chennaiyin manager claimed a true fan would support the team even during times of crisis, and the Super Machans have rendered his statement obsolete as they have been vocal so far despite the numbers telling a different story altogether.
6:56 pm Arguably, Chennaiyin boast the most number of kids fans in the division and, as always, the school-goers have come in huge numbers. Whoever slams the ISL for not possessing passionate fans should look at the emotions on the kids’ visages.
6:54 pm With Chennaiyin fans’ tendency to arrive late, though, we might as well see close to or over 20,000 attendees today.We cannot blame them for Chennai is definitely one of the most overcrowded places in the country.
6:52 pm Talking about home advantage, Marco Materazzi slammed the Chennaiyin fans, telling them to come out in huge numbers. However, his pleas have not been heard, with the Marina Arena featuring more empty seats than occupied ones.
6:50 pm First half is under way. The players emerge from the tunnel. Despite their home advantage, the Blues should be nervous, with a win absolutely essential.
6:47 pm As for City, last game’s goalscorer in Eugeneson Lyngdoh is on the bench, so is Chennai’s own Dharmaraj Ravanan.
6:41 pm Team sheet is out. As expected, Chennaiyin have made numerous changes to the starting line-up. However, a few changes look unexpected, with veteran defenders John Arne Riise and Eli Sabia Filho benched to accommodate Eder Monteiro.
Chennaiyin FC: Karanjit; Wadoo, Eder, Mendy (C), Jerry; Mulder, Raphael, Blasi, Mundampara; Jeje, Succi
FC Pune City: Edel; Das, Fernandes,Ferreira, Raju, Gouramangi;Lucca, Sissoko(C), Rodrigues;Traore, Anibal
6:33 pm Marco Materazzi’s future has become a subject a debate, and failing to make the playoffs will only add to the speculation. More than just a place in the playoffs is at stake as the Italian has proved the most important signing the Marina Machans have made since their inception.
6:30 pm Chennaiyin FC host FC Pune City in search of their first in six games. With their participation in the playoff stages uncertain, they desperately need three points. City, on the other hand, seem to have finally found their mojo after an abysmal start to the campaign
6:23 pm Good evening from Chennai. This is Praveen R. Paramasivam,and I’ll take you through the humdinger of a clash..
Pictures Via ISL Media