Chennai: Chennaiyin FC played an attacking brand of football as it boosted their top-four hopes after an emphatic 4-1 win over Jamshedpur FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on Thursday.
Nerijus Valskis continued his goal-scoring spree by scoring a brace while Andre Schembri and Lallianzuala Chhangte too netted goals to give the home team its third consecutive victory.
Speaking about the win Owen Coyle said, “Coming into the game we knew it would be a tough game and it was a tough game. They had very good attacking players but we always knew if we give a good performance we will keep winning games and we scored two goals in the first half and we could have scored more. But the game was head to head and it was a real feast of
Speaking about the team’s chances of making it to the top four, he said,”Pressure is on ourselves until our last league game to make it a reality. We will continue with our attacking brand of football.”
Sergio Castel’s (71’) second-half header turned out to be just a consolation for Jamshedpur FC. The win sees Owen Coyle’s side leapfrog Jamshedpur into the sixth spot, three points shy of fourth-placed Odisha FC. The Men of Steel, on the other hand, have been dealt a massive blow, sliding down the leaderboard.
The home side made an energetic start to the game and made it count in the 13th minute when Andre Schembri received the ball near the half-way line. The Maltese striker drove past a couple of Jamshedpur defenders and slipped an excellent through ball for Valskis. The Lithuanian slid a neat finish past an onrushing Subrata Paul to register his ninth goal of the season.
Chennaiyin continued to dominate the midfield battle which restricted Jamshedpur’s forays forward. The game opened up towards the end of the first half with chances at either end. Castel should’ve equalised when Noe Acosta’s ball into the box fell for him. But Jerry managed to get a last-ditch block to preserve Chennaiyin’s lead.
But Jamshedpur did find a way back into the game in the 71st minute when Chennaiyin defence switched off and allowed Joyner Lourenco to send a cross into the box from the right-wing. Castel was on hand to expertly head it in past Vishal Kaith.
However, any hopes of a comeback from the visitors were extinguished by Chennaiyin within four minutes. Anirudh Thapa fed Valskis through on goal with a brilliant pass and the Lithuanian found the back of the net with an excellent dink that saw him rise to the top of the scoring charts. Later Dragos Firtulescu managed to draw a save from Subrata after a brilliant down the right
wing. Chhangte was on hand to turn the rebound in to seal a dominant win.