Chennaiyin FC yet again failed to find the back of the net as they went down 2-0 against a clinical Hyderbad FC in the Tilak Maidan Stadium today. Hyderabad went ahead 1-0 early through Fran Sandaza in the 28th minute and followed it up with a clinical finish from Chianese in the 83rd minute. This result means Hyderabad are now 7 matches unbeaten in the Indian Super League, their longest so far.
Hyderabad played in a 4-4-2 formation, with a strong intent to test the Chennaiyin defence. They started the game, positively with build-up play through the middle, finding space in the final third. Chennaiyin’s failure to close the gap became evident as the game progressed. Later on as the game progressed, they intended to stay back, defending well as a unit, only threatening on the occasional break.
Chennaiyin, on the other hand, deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation, which looked more threatening in the second half, as Hyderbad opted to shift their formation with the introduction of Halicharan Narzary. They initially played with more aggressiveness, trying to find attackers through long balls from the back. In the later stages of the match, they opted to widen their attack, as they started to create more chances from the wings.
The first chance of the game for Chennaiyin fell in the 25th minute through Isma, who semi volleyed it into the side netting. A few minutes later Hyderbad equalised at the other end, thanks to a perfect through ball from Joao Victor, who managed to find Fran Sandaza, who lost Tangri with a drop shoulder and then scored with ease. This was his second goal in two matches. Hyderabad continued to pose a threat, as Chennaiyin dominated possession in the first half. For Chennaiyin, Isma was able to find more space in the midfield, as Rahim Ali struggled to make any significant impact on the left-wing.
The second half kicked off, with a series of substitution for both teams, with Halicharan Narzary, being introduced on the left-wing. Chennaiyin came closest to a goal with defender Sabia’s effort being deflected off the crossbar. Chennai continued to press high as, they finally found a foothold in the game, with Hyderbad leaving gaps on both wings. After a penalty claim in 55 minutes, Chennaiyin missed a glorious opportunity with Reagan’s perfect layoff from the right-wing to Fathullo, who smashed it against the crossbar from close range.
Chennaiyin’s high pressing game eventually led to the second goal for Hyderbad as a quick break from Victor found Chianese’s run and the winger fired the ball into the corner of the net. Following the goal, Hyderbad continued to exert a higher press as they looked for another goal to finish the game off. However Chennaiyin failed to create any clear cut chances in the final minutes as they yet again failed to find enough goals which has bedevilled their season.
The result means Hyderabad FC have completed a double over Chennaiyin FC. They won the first match 4-1 earlier in the season. For Chennaiyin, who are the lowest-scoring side this season with 11 goals, it’s their 4th game without a win. Hyderabad have now moved ahead of FC Goa and NorthEast United FC into third place in the table Chennaiyin languish in 7th.
Hyderabad now face, NorthEast United on the 7th of February Chennaiyin face Bengaluru on the 5th of February.