Akbar Nawas’ men came back strongly despite being a man down to win a fiesty encounter.
I-League Champions, Chennai City FC carried their merry form as they defeated FC Pune City 2-4 and progress to the quarterfinals of the Hero Super Cup. Pedro Manzi opened the scoring for the visitors before bagging another hattrick for his side this season.
Marcelinho pulled one back in the first half and Marco Stankovic restored parity through his spot-kick, but Akbar Nawas’ men came back strongly despite being a man down to fix a tasty encounter against ISL champs Bengaluru FC in the quarterfinals.
Kamaljit Singh – 6.0
Definitely one of the finds of the season, Kamaljit has grown in stature as a player under Phil Brown and his confidence between the sticks shows for it. Despite conceding four goals he kept out several clear cut chances saving the Stallions from a humiliating defeat.
Gurtej Singh – 5.0
It was always going to be a tough task to keep Pedro Manzi and company at bay and that how it panned out for the experienced Indian defender. Phil Brown went ahead with a three-man back line and the Stallions clearly lacked pace in defence as Pedro Manzi and Nestor Gordillo dribbled past Gurtej way too many times. The 29-year old left acres of space at the back allowing the attackers to run behind the defence.
Nikhil Poojary – 5.5
Poojary was played in an unusual position as a wing-back, as Phil Brown wanted to use his pace and energy on the right flank. The India international did try to put in a shift early in the game but he fizzled out as the game went on as Ajithkumar completely nullified his threat.
Adil Khan – 6.0
Adil Khan played the role of a proper destroyer in midfield for Phil Brown and the versatile midfielder did a commendable job stringing a lot of passes together in midfield. Things were all right for the big man until he conceded a cheap penalty late in the second half allowing Chennai city and Manzi to take the lead again.
Mohammad Yasir – 5.0
The 20-year old youngster has shown glimpses of his talent for the Stallions earlier in the season and hence Phil Brown thought of using his pace and energy as a wingback. It panned out to be a tough task for the youngster as he struggled to find the perfect balance in attack and defence and gave away the ball way too many times.
Robin Singh – 5.5
Robin Singh’s experience and daunting stature caused a lot of problems for the inexperienced Chennai City defence as the Indian forward teamed with Hume in the final third and created several chances early in the first half. But despite his physical stature he failed to get on the end of any move and squandered whatever chances that came his way.
Rohit Kumar – 5.0
Rohit Kumar came in for Adil Khan at the 68th minute, as Phil Brown was looking for more injection of pace and energy in the midfield. However Rohit failed to live up to the expectation and was hardly involved in any f the attacking play.
Sarthak Golui – 6.0
The India U23 international replaced Mohammed Yasir midway in the second half. Sarthak did string a few moves for Marcelinho and was proving to be more of a threat than the youngster. Maybe Phil Brown paid the price of experimenting way too much, as Sarthak definitely looked like a threat with his low crosses which unsettled the Chennai City defence on numerous occasions.
Abhishek Halder – NA
Came in for Matt Mills on the 80th minute and did not make any noteworthy impact.
Chennai City FC
Gaurav Bora – 5.0
The I-League emerging player of the year failed to emerge on the night as he failed to contain Marcelinho on multiple occasions and conceded cheap fouls near the box. Bora lost his concentration resulted in the first goal for Marcelinho before the young defender pulled the Brazilain down in the penalty area awarding a reckless penalty to the Stallions.
Ajithkumar Kamaraj – 7.0
Ajithkumar has definitely been one of the most improved players this season under Akbar Nawas. He has carried his good run of form to the Super Cup. He was impeccable with his overlapping runs through the left flank. He worked tirelessly throughout the game helping in both attack and defence.
Tarif Akhand – 5.5
Tarif partnered Bora in the heart of the Chennai City defence and there was a clear display of inexperience and immaturity at the back. Tarif was out of position way too many times and was dominated by the likes of Iain Hume and Robin Singh. However, the youngster did show glimpses of his talent as the I-League champions kept their shape even after being a man down.
Edwin Vanspaul – 6.0
Probably the most consistent player for Chennai City this season among their Indian contingent. Vanspaul was primarily a winger but under Akbar Nawas’ tutelage, he has grown in stature as a right back. Vanspaul’s defensive attributes have improved immensely this season as he stayed at the back for almost the entire of the second half and bailed out the inexperienced defence on several instances.
Charles Anandraj – 4.5
Apart from stringing some passes in midfield Charles was failing to contain the likes of Marko Stankovic and Marcelinho in midfield and had a pretty poor outing. His reckless tackle on Hume saw him sent off on the 49th minute, irresponsibly leaving his team in a lot of trouble.
Michael Regin – 6.5
Regin has been Akbar Nawas’ go-to man in midfield. The experienced midfielder is limited with his skill set but his tireless work ethic makes up for it. Regin dropped deep after the Southerners went a man down and cushioned the inexperienced backline.
Ameerudeen – 6.0
It was an element of surprise as Akbar Nawas chose to start with Ameerudeen on the right flank keeping Romario on the bench. But the young forward repaid the faith with a decent outing against Pune City. It was from his square pass Pedro Manzi opened the deadlock.
Romario Jesuraj – 5.5
The young winger replaced Ameerudeen on the 68th minute and did put in a shift for the I-League champions. However, Nawas’s men were mostly very alert because of being a man down for the entirety of the second half as Romario had to drop deep and help out his defenders.
Sriram – NA
Came in for Nestor Gordillo on the 83rd minute and hardly made any impact in the game.
Vijay N – NA
Replaced Ajithkumar at the dying embers of the game on the second minute of added time (90+2′) and did not even touch the ball.