Chennaiyin FC rode in the second half to move up to third place in the points table as they struggled further at Northeast United FC with a 2-1 victory over the Hero Indian Super League at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Saturday.
Laldanmavia Ralte helped Northeast United take the lead in the 35th minute, before Ariel Borisiuk (52nd) and Vladimir Komane (58th) returned to Chennai six minutes apart.
The result means that Chennai have now moved from seventh to third place with 18 points from 12 matches while Northeast United are at the bottom of the table with just nine points from 13 matches.
Chennai started the game on the front foot, displaying some amazing passing football and keeping rival defenders on their toes. Narijas Valskis initially warmed Mirshad Michuna’s gloves as the blue shirt seemed to be playing with more purpose. Against the run-off play, Laldanmavia Ralte missed but missed a chance to spoil Chennai’s Applecart.
But Laldanmavia didn’t have to wait long to atone for his mistake as he luckily found the back of the net in the 35th minute. Debjit Majumdar was convicted under the Chennai bar for unnecessarily stepping out of his line and accepting a corner. Outside the flag-kick, Majumdar was again caught on the wrong foot as he incredibly flicked the ball into the danger zone and hid Laldanmavia to go home.
At half time, Northeast United were leading 1-0 and were also looking to turn the tide after Chennai dominated the first half hour.
But in the second half, Chennai won the game by hitting the neck, Rahim Ali put the ball in the way of Borisiyuk, whose controlled effort removed Sehnaz Singh’s right shoe to go inside. Things got worse for Highlanders as keeper Michu looked very uncomfortable but coach Khalid Jamil decided to keep him going until the second goal of his bad outing. Common’s free-kick was missed by everyone as Michu got out of his line and went to see the ball go behind him behind the net. Subhash Roy replaces Michu.
Drowning in two shocks, Jamil sent star forward Marcelinho to join Northeast United in the January transfer window in the 64th minute for Laldanmavia and the Brazilian player made an immediate impact with his junk run and cutting edge in the final third. Marcelinho tried his luck from the range to send his effort wide just before Patrick Flotman, whose header flew over the bar with his rebound, came out of the post in his delicious corner.
Hernan Santana blew the golden opportunity near full time when he sent a free header from Marcelinho Corner before Majumdar defended himself with a double save by Marco Sahanek and Imran Khan on rebound.