Chennaiyin FC has moved to the top of the Group E points table in the ongoing AFC Cup after they defeated Abahani Dhaka from Bangladesh by 1-0 goals in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. Wellington Priori of Dhaka put the ball in his own net to give the ISL side a lead in the second half of the game.
The team from Bangladesh dominated the proceedings against Chennaiyin from the very beginning of the game at the TransStadia Arena. They had a great chance in the second minute of match when Rubel Miya’s corner was headed just wide by Kervens Belfort. For the Chennai club, a real goal-scoring opportunity came in the 21st minute when Mailson Alves’ header was stopped by Dhaka’s goalkeeper Shahidul Alam.
Abahani looked dangerous again in the 27th minute but this time Mailson was there to deflect a powerful shot by Sunday Chizoba. The Indian side had got a couple of more chances in the first half but Jeje Lalpekhlua and Dhanpal Ganesh both failed to keep the ball on target as the teams went with the deadlock yet to be broken at half-time.
The Bangladeshi side continued to remain dangerous in the second half as well. First it was Belfort who headed the ball over the post and then in the 64th minute, Nabib Newaz Jibon’s free-kick on was easily saved by the Chennaiyin custodian.
Chennaiyin also missed a couple of chances in the second half before Priori’s deflection into his own net in the 79th minute. Anirudh Thapa had created a good chance as he cut the ball across when Priori came in the way and found the back of his own net. This gave Chennaiyin a 1-0 lead in the game.
In spite of trying hard in the last 10 minutes, the Dhaka-based club failed to create further opportunities as Chennaiyin FC took the game 1-0 to move to the top of the table. Both the teams will again meet in Dhaka on May 15 in the AFC Cup.
With two wins and a draw, Chennaiyin FC has seven points in the tournament and are at the first place followed by Abahani Dhaka with four points from three matches. The group toppers will qualify for the Inter-Zone Playoff semi-finals.
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