Despite forgettable season, Chennaiyin are flying high in the Super Cup

Rohit Ganguly  |  Super Cup  |  1 Week Ago

Chennaiyin FC put their Indian Super League shame behind as they brushed aside ATK in a lacklustre affair to set up a rip-roaring grand finale against FC Goa. After a cagey first half, the game roared back to life after the breather. With Chennai already raining crosses in the ATK box right since the first half, they were finally ushered home by a scintillating Anirudh Thapa and CK Vineeth to set up an all-ISL showdown in the finale.


Vineeth could have rattled the impasse just within six minutes of kick-off when he failed to steer the ball home from the point-blank range. Jerry whipped in a stinging cross only for the striker to squander it away.


Chennai’s majestic dominance was underlined by the astonishing number of crosses which were hurled in the ATK box in the first half. The attacking triptych of Chennai failed to fire and Kolkata comfortably seemed to be growing back in the game.


However, the second half was completely a different ball game as both the teams went for the offensive and ATK found themselves clearly to be the second best on the night.


Right after the breather, Chennai came to the verge of rattling the deadlock, but a timely dive from Pritam Kotal saw Gregory Nelson’s attempt being traded for a corner.


Chennai finally managed to surge ahead when Anirudh Thapa’s persistent tussle on the flanks won him the ball against an out-of-element Pritam Kotal and a rarely silent John Johnson. After winning the ball on the left, Thapa lashed in a curler for a lurking CK Vineeth and the former Kerala striker ushered the ball home past a flatlined ATK defence.

Chennai doubled their lead, courtesy of a screamer from the budding Indian international, Anirudh Thapa. After teeing up the first, he scored the second for Chennai to put the game beyond ATK’s reach. The move emanated from Laldinliana Renthlei, who pranced past an ATK defender to square off Gregory Nelson. After being squared at his wrong foot by Nelson, Thapa still managed to belt out a tracer bullet past a hapless Debjit Mazumder to make it 2-0 for Chennai.


After weathering a battering from Chennai for almost 70 minutes of the game, Manuel Lanzarote finally slapped a stinging free-kick only to be parried away by an alert Karanjit.


ATK once again came close to scoring when Eugenson Lyngdoh’s stunning long ranger compelled Karanjit to produce a remarkable save.


Nelson was once again on his path to ATK’s carnage before teeing up Thoi Singh with a peach of a through, however, the latter’s belter grazed the side-netting.


After being tormented for regulation ninety minutes, the referee finally put ATK out of their misery with a long blow of his whistle to set up a gargantuan clash between FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC in the final of Hero Super Cup 2019.


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