CHENNAI: After each of their last three games, Chennai City FC’s coach Robin Charles Raja was bombarded with questions regarding lack of goals. Robin’s reply was the same every time. He requested for time. And when the long-awaited goal finally arrived, it had to be against one of the oldest and strongest teams in the league.
Brazilian Eduardo Soares Ferreira will regret not clearing a back pass as Marcos Vinicius put pressure and scored with a cheeky near-post finish in the 52nd minute to give the debutants their first goal and a lead against Mohun Bagan at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday. However, the joy was short-lived. Sony Norde’s dangerous run and cross from the left flank put the defenders in a scramble as Jeje Lalpekhlua tapped in to level things four minutes later.
The first half was more entertaining. It had everything from an offside goal, a penalty save from Karanjit Singh and some poor finishing. Chennai City FC did not sit back as they did against Bengaluru FC and were threatening the heavyweights from Kolkata many times. But in the end, it was Sony Norde’s day. The Haitian who missed the penalty made amends as he was quick to pounce on a through ball from Jeje, scoring the winner in the 76th minute.
It was a free flowing game with plenty of chances for both teams. Some of the missed opportunities were as poor as it could get. Even the introduction of local lad Raegan failed to produce the spark as Chennai City FC have one point from four games. For Mohun Bagan, it was a wake-up call. After three successive victories, they were tested as they played an unpredictable debut side.
Coach Sanjoy Sen, did warn his players to not take the game lightly in the pre-match briefing. And he stuck to the same after 90 minutes. “Every game will be tough like I said earlier. All teams will have a tough time this year. Chennai were outstanding. They showed a lot of character. They did not show any signs of being debutants,” said Sanjoy Sen.
Even after the second goal, Charles de Souza showed great enthusiasm to collect a loose ball in the six-yard area in the 82nd minute. But that too went in vain. The missed chances from the first half came back to haunt Chennai as they are still in search for a win.