ISL Analysis | Chennaiyin FC exploits callous Bengaluru FC

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ISL Analysis | Chennaiyin FC exploits callous Bengaluru FC

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SportsCafe Desk


Chennaiyin capitalized on Bengaluru’s careless defence twice at the Kanteerava Stadium as they thwarted the Blues’ chance of going top of the table. After Bengaluru equalized through skipper Sunil Chhetri with five minutes to go, poor defending saw Chennai get the winner three minutes later.

Finally ! Some quality officiating

Quite contrary to yesterday’s game between Delhi Dynamos and FC Goa, which saw the officials showing cards from as early as the 6th minute, the Kanteerava Stadium saw a much more composed game after a frenetic first 15 minutes. After the referee showed patience and authority amidst repeated interruptions in the opening stages, both the teams settled in over the course of time. Barring a booking for Bengaluru enforcer Harmanjit Khabra in the first, the referee kept his cards to himself for a majority of the half.

However, it was during Bengaluru’s aggressive attempt to make a comeback in the second-half that saw the official standing on shaky ground. The feigned dives by the visiting side to churn out fouls and waste time from every little body contact saw Chennaiyin FC players getting booked thrice in a space of 20 minutes, which were not all bookable offences. The game eventually ended with 26 fouls and 4 yellow cards.

After the terrible officiating we have seen throughout the ISL campaign so far that saw terrible decisions by the referee pretty much deciding the results, both Bengaluru and Chennaiyin FC would hardly have any complaints with the officiating in today’ game.

Bengaluru need to stop with the lethargic starts 

This was Bengaluru’s third game of the season where they tried to make amends for their error prone first-half display by going all-out in the second-half. While it worked against FC Pune City, in the last game, after the home side were reduced to 10 men. FC Goa had successfully kept them off bay after getting their goal margin reduced by two goals.

Chennaiyin, today, went one step further as they exploited Bengaluru’s thin defence in the closing stages after they had equalized three minutes earlier. However, as unfortunate as it may seem, Alberto Roca would know deep inside that he cannot aim for the title in the franchises debut campaign by banking on just 45 minutes of quality play in every match.

Bengaluru’s tactics force them to rely majorly on making the most of little or half-chances that they manage from counter-attacking with a high backline. And they couldn’t get the ball in the net today, more than once despite enjoying 60% of the possession and having eight shots on goal. The plethora of mispasses in the attacking third made them all the more impatient, which reflected in their game.

The Showstopper 

Though both of Chennaiyin FC’s goals came from defensive lapses in the Bengaluru camp, the hosts displayed some fabulous defending in the second-half to fend off Bengaluru’s incessant attacks. And the biggest credit for this should go to centre-half Mailson Alves.

The Brazilian has been a veteran in the ISL now and knows its nature inside out. Alongside Henrique Sereno in the central defence, today he made a whopping 12 clearances, two interceptions and a block. Every Bengaluru attack ended up being futile and their inability to explore Chennai’s aerial strength played a huge factor as well as Miku remained largely feeble throughout the game.

Alves even went up from time to time and even ended up creating a genuine chance only for Jeje Lalpekhlua to squander it with a poor finish. Bengaluru could have made an early comeback in the second-half through Miku only for Alves to commit a clever foul that earned him a yellow card and ended a potential goal threat.

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