I-League 2017 Full Time: Chennai City vs Kingfisher East Bengal
Written by: Praveen R. Paramasivam
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FT Chennai sign off their first I-League season at home with a memorable 2-1 win against East Bengal.
90+3' Prasanth scores the winner.
90' Four minutes added.
87' East Bengal continue to pepper Chennai's goal. Desperate three minutes for the home side.
84' Prasanth replaces injured Soosairaj.
82' Stretcher comes out, as it often does at Jawharlal Nehru Stadium, and the injured Soosairaj chooses to walk off the pitch as he receives treatment on the sidelines.
81' Raegan almost puts Chennai ahead as he beat Rehenesh after collecting a pass from Charles; however, his effort went just inches wide.
80' The away support has come back to life. Wait, no, that's just one fan chanting East Bengal at the top of his voice.
79' Ruidas comes on for Payne.
77' Denson earns a yellow for a challenge on Mehtab.
74' It looks as though the teams are awaiting the final whistle as there have been more goal kicks than successful passes in the last few minutes.
71' Payne finds ample time to take a touch before having a shot, but he elects to half volley the ball into Karanjit's net in vain as the ball sails miles above the post.
70' The East Bengal camp look shadows of their first half selves, but the excitement of the home support is only burgeoning.
67' Jairu comes on for Ralte.
65' Devadas replaces Ganesh as the fans label the latter one of their own.
63' Chennai look willing to see out the rest of the game as they are now defending with 10 men again, with Charles being the only player assigned the attacking duty.
60' The away section looked increasinly worried as their chances of winning their maiden I-League title is at stake. The home support do not seem to be willing to taunt the away end, too.
57' The local lads combine to score the equalizer as Raegan sets up Nandhakumar for the leveller.
55' Abhishek's free kick looks dangerous, but no yellow shirt is in the right position to have a crack at Rehenesh's goal. Rehenesh collects the ball calmly.
52' Rafique requires treatment as he goes down near the half-way line.
49' Echezona goes down as play is stopped.
46' Chennai get second half started.
HT Chenni had a decent start to the game, but constant running saw their players tire out. East Bengal, promptly cashed in on their tiredness to score an easy one. Coming back will likely not be as easy as the cheery Chennai fans may want it to be.
45' One minute added.
44' Tank goes off for Raegan.
43' Plaza puts East Bengal ahead as he guides Bheke's cross into the net from six yards out.
40' Chennai are certainly inviting danger as they seem to be tired and on the back foot. Ralte capitalises on the situation as he looks to put his team ahead from a tight angle. His shot, however, misses the target by a mile.
37' Ravanan instructs his midfield teammates to press as East Bengal seem to be gaining control of the game.
34' As is often the case, Chennai players will likely tire out in the second half, especially given the degree of running they have been doing so far.
31' A nasty collision sees Bukenya and Charles go to the ground, but neither sees a yellow though the referee hands Chennai a free kick. The resulting set piece from Zakeer is wasteful as East Bengal manage to make a clearance.
30' A long throw-in Narayan fails to unsettle the Chennai defence as Ganesh heads the ball away coolly. Narayan tries gaining control of the ball again, but he fails as Chennai earn a goal kick.
29' The game remains goalless, but either side is tiring each other out as the game has hardly seen a pass that's made without the attacking intent.
27' Ralte hits the crossbar, and Robin heads the rebound for a goal kick.
26' Chennai have been defending with ten men so far. However, they have been quick to regroup to attack as they seem to be producing one of their most vibrant displays of the season.
23' Chennai's counter has been on point today, with local lads Nandhakumar and Soosairaj playing off Charles. The killer pass has been missing. However, should Chennai keep the momentum up, it ought to come at some point.
20' Chennai's recent 1-1 draw with Bengaluru was the first game that ever garnered some fan reaction, but today's affair has been drawing louder fan reaction. A win or a positive performance can make today's attendees regulars next season.
18' Plaza finds an unmarked Payne from the right flank, but the Austalian's first-time shot fails to beat Karanjit as the visitors earns a corner kick.
15' Rafique replaces injured Poojary.
12' Soosairaj earns a freekick in a dangerous position, but Ganesh's shot goes for a goal kick.
11' Plaza goes down inside Chennai's penalty area following a tackle from Ravanan, but the referee says, "Play on."
9' Plaza looks to spray a forward pass to Robin, but Ravanan makes a crucial interception and sparks a counter-attack. Nandhakumar, who has been in stellar form, shruggs off pressure from Bheke to swing a cross, which Charles controls before laying the ball off to coompatriot Tank. Tank tries his luck from long range, but Rehenesh parries the ball away as Chennai earn a throw in.
6' East Bengal's Uganda defender Bukenya has already made numerous recoveries and clearances, prompting a Bu-ken-ya chant from the away section.
3' Chris Payne dribbles past Chennai defenders before finding enough time and space to fire a shot at Karanjit's goal. The effort, however, is directed straight at Karanjit as the 'keeper finds parries away. Abhishek makes a timely clearance, with Robin and Payne lurking.
2' Ganesh goes down, but the referee denies giving a foul.
1' East Bengal kick things off.
07:00pm The teams are out. Kick off is under way.
06:55pm As always, away fans seem to have outnumbered the home support here in Chennai as red shirts have already begun creating an atmosphere.
06:50pm Chennai City: Karanjit; Abhishek, Ravanan, Echezona, Debabrata; Soosairaj, Zakeer, Ganesh, Nandhakumar; Charles, Tank
Kingfisher East Bengal: Rehenesh; Bheke, Bukenya, Mondal, Narayan; Poojary, Mehtab, Ralte; Plaza, Robin, Payne
06:40pm Chennai City have made just a single change from the team that started in the recent 1-1 draw with Bengaluru Football Club, with Raegan Albarnas making way for under-fire gigantic Brazil forward Marcos Vinicius. East Bengal, meanwhile, have made five changes as they look to return to winning ways after suffering defeat at home to minnows Churchill Brothers.
This promises to be an interesting game. Chennai can move clear of Mumbai at the foot of the table. If East Bengal win, they will be joint-table toppers, alongside Aizawl.
06:30pm Hello and welcome to the I-League game between Chennai City and East Bengal. This is your host Praveen R. Paramasivam Live from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Published: Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:18 PM IST