Chennaiyin FC defeated NorthEast United FC, 2-1, in the ISL at the PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa on Saturday to re-ignite their semi-final chances. Trailing at half-time through a Ralte (35’) goal, the Marina Machans came out all guns blazing, scoring two goals inside 15 minutes in the second half.
Chennaiyin FC dominated possession throughout the first half but were hit on the counter-attack with fluid attacks by the Guwahati-based team. Laldanmawia Ralte missed two gilt-edge opportunities to put his team ahead but failed to hit the target both times. But, following an error by Debjit Majumdar in clearing a corner, Ralte made amends as he found himself at the end of an easy opportunity which he converted and put NorthEast United FC in the lead.
For Chennaiyin FC, Rahim Ali also went through his own struggles in the box. On the 32nd minute mark, he was through on goal but took a big touch and the ball rolled out for a goal kick. An eventful first half came to an end with NorthEast United FC in front.
Early in the second half, Ariel Borysiuk equalised the score as he fired a long-range effort that took a deflection that wrong-footed Mirshad Michu and went into the back of the net. Later, in trying to change directions, the NorthEast United FC goalkeeper Michu injured his right foot. Capitalizing on this injury, Vladimir Koman from a direct free-kick sneaked in at the far post.
In response to conceding the goals, Khalid Jamil brought on Marcelinho and Marco Sahanek in place of Laldanmawia Ralte and Sehnaj Singh respectively. Marcelinho came on with a point to prove and his set-piece delivery was on point. Suhair Vadakkepeedika almost scored from an inch-perfect corner from the Brazilian as his flicked header went narrowly wide of the goal. Marcelinho then saw a free-kick that went centimeters wide off the goal post.
NorthEast United FC continued their fluid counter-attacking moves throughout the game and had 26 shots. Patrick Flottmann and Hernan Satana missed chances for the as they couldn’t draw level in the game. Late in the second half, Debjit Majumder made two stellar saves. He first saved a curling effort from Marco Sahanek and then from the rebound, saved a shot from Imran Khan.
But, that was not the end of the drama, Lukasz Gikiewicz hit his own crossbar trying to defend a cross in the 97th minute. However, NorthEast United FC coulnd’t muster an equaliser as they fell to another defeat. This result has lifted Chennaiyin FC into third place but continues a poor run of form for NorthEast United as they remain at the bottom of the table without any wins in 2022.