CHENNAIYIN FC REGISTERED THEIR first win of ISL 2017-18 by beating NorthEast United 3-0 at home.
In a rather one sided game, Chennaiyin FC played a calm game and refused to break their defensive shape, successfully keeping the NEUFC attack at bay all game.
CFC got their lead early when Raphael Augusto ran up from the centre and let fly from outside the box. The curling shot took a deflection off Abdul Hakku which took it beyond the reach of keeper Rehenesh TP. As a result, it was declared an own goal by Abdul Hakku.
The first goal's architect Augusto, however, did not take long to put his own name on the scoresheet. 24 minutes into the game, Bikramjit Singh sent a cross from the left into the box to Gregory Nelson who headed it down to the goalmouth. Raphael was perfectly position to pounce on the opportunity and he sent it straight in. It was 2-0 to the home team.
The score remained the same at the half-time and NorthEast United had already started making substitutions. But despite all their efforts the Highlanders were having a hard time creating chances. They tried to go all out early in the second half but CFC simply slowed the game down with back passes and midfield rallies and the NEUFC players simply appeared unable to put the pressure back on the home team.
Towards the end of the game, Mohammed Rafi who had come on as a substitute for Jeje Lalpekhlua got his name on the scoresheet. A free kick taken by Gavilan hit the post and was slapped out by Rehenesh but Rafi got hold of the rebounding ball and scored from close range. It was icing on the cake for Chennaiyin FC.
A compelling 3-0 win signifies a good comeback for CFC shortly after their loss to FC Goa. NorthEast United, though, have gone two matches without scoring a goal, and their defence seems to be having trouble when facing a well-structured attacking side. Being outplayed in every department like this will be a matter of grave concern for the Highlanders' coaching staff.