Their first match in this season’s Indian Super League (ISL) on Sunday may end in a goalless draw, but Chennaiyin FC’s match against Odisha FC at the GMC Stadium on Wednesday was nothing short of a goal. After struggling for all season, Csaba Laszlo’s men changed style against Odisha, scoring two in the opening quarter of the game. Portugal’s forward Esmael Gonclaves opened the scoring in the 15th minute before scoring a penalty in the 21st minute to give Chennaiyin a two-wicket win. However, a Diego Mauricio dreamer in the 64th minute gave Odisha hope, but Chennaiyin won 2–1, pushing them to fifth place.
Goneclave had a chance to advance their team in the fifth minute after falling behind in Odisha’s defense, but only to defeat keeper Arshadip Singh, he missed his chance.
However, he made amends for that ten minutes with a tidy goal. Gaurav Bora failed to tackle a long ball from Rahim Ali and it fell to Gonclave, who did not make a mistake this time.
Chennaiyin doubled their lead before Odisha had a chance to go backward. Bora was again at fault, hacking Anirudh Thapa in the box. Gonçalves stepped in to take the spot-kick and sent Arshdeep the wrong way.
Chennaiyin defended well after gaining a clear edge as Odisha fashion struggled for clear-cut opportunities. He got the most in the 37th minute in the first half when Manuel Onwu found himself with the ball at his feet and looked on goal, but his shot was wide.
With some opening odds in the Odisha box, Chennaiyin team looked ready to score. However, Mauritio, who replaced Marcello Pereira at Halalassery, had other plans, as he made a stunning return for his team with a long-range curler.
Chennaiyin had a great chance to restore their lead late after Lallianujla Chungte’s brilliant performance, he hit the ball to substitute Thoi Singh. However, the veteran, despite only defeating the keeper, failed to take his shot at the target.
Odisha took advantage of this in the 85th minute, when Daniel Lalahilimpia managed to get a shot from just outside the box. However, keeper Vishal Cath made an excellent diving save.
Odisha collapsed under pressure in the closing minutes but could not level up.
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