Petar Sliskovic scored a brace, as Chennaiyin FC beat 10-man TRAU FC 4-1 to register their first win of the season in the Durand Cup Group C match at the Khuman Lampak Stadium here on Thursday.
Kwame Karikari and Vafa Hakhamaneshi scored one in each half while Petar netted his first in the 16th second of the game and the other in the second half.
Komron Tursonov scored for TRAU FC from the spot.
Chennaiyin, who were at the bottom of their group before tonight’s match climbed to the joint second (ahead of goal difference) to keep their hopes of qualifying for the knockouts alive.
Chennaiyin have four points from three matches, the same as NEROCA FC.
Chennaiyin coach Thomas Brdaric handed full debuts to goalkeeper Devansh Dabas, Vafa Hakhamaneshi and Kwame Karikari and brought in Edwin Sydney Vanspaul and Mohammad Sajid Dhot to the starting line-up. Jockson Dhas, also returned to the starting XI.
Chennaiyin took the lead in just 16 seconds when Sliskovic found the net after Karikari’s shot was deflected by a TRAU defender and fell kindly to the Polish forward who slotted it off the post and into the corner.
Chennaiyin extended their lead in the 19th minute. Karikari chased a loose ball at the TRAU box before laying it off for Sliskovic. However, TRAU goalkeeper Jedidi Haiokip came off his line and fouled Sliskovic inside the box to hand Chennaiyin a penalty. Karikari stepped up to convert from the spot.
TRAU were reduced to 10 men when Salam Johnson Singh was sent off in the 36th minute after dissent.
Chennaiyin conceded a goal towards the end of the first half when Mohammad Sajid Dhot’s handball resulted in a penalty for TRAU. Komron sent Devansh the other way to score for TRAU.
Chennaiyin scored twice after the restart in the space of 10 minutes.
Six minutes after the break, Vafa used his height to good effect to head home from Anirudh Thapa’s corner.
In the 55th minute, a cross from the left by Akash Sangwan, who replaced Dhot at the start of the second half, landed neatly on Sliskovic’s head. The forward calmly headed home Chennaiyin’s fourth goal to ensure three points for the side.
Chennaiyin will next face Neroca FC on September 5 in their last Group C game in a game that could decide second spot in Group C.