Chennaiyin FC celebrated their return to the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 with an emphatic 5-1 triumph over Punjab FC on a memorable Sunday. The Owen Coyle-coached squad delivered a stellar performance, showcasing their attacking prowess, much to the delight of the home fans.
Early Pressure Yields Results
From the very outset, Chennaiyin FC applied consistent pressure on the Punjab FC defense, launching attacks from all angles. Their relentless efforts were rewarded in the 24th minute when Rafael Crivellaro’s precise corner kick found Ryan Edwards, who calmly slotted the ball home to give his team the lead.
Building on their momentum, Coyle’s team orchestrated a clinical counterattack. Crivellaro and Scottish striker Connor Shields combined brilliantly, with Crivellaro providing a well-timed pass for Shields inside the box. In the 27th minute, Shields found the back of the net, securing his first goal of the match.
The Brazilian attacking midfielder, Crivellaro, who had been instrumental in assisting goals, had a chance to etch his name on the scoresheet just before halftime. In added time of the first half, he confidently converted a penalty after Farukh Choudhary was fouled inside the box by Punjab FC defender Melroy Melwin Assisi, extending his team’s lead.
Chennaiyin FC didn’t ease off the gas pedal in the second half. A red card to Melroy in the 48th minute handed them a one-man advantage. The team capitalized on this opportunity when Rahim Ali penetrated the box from the left flank, providing an assist for Shields, who completed his brace in the 56th minute.
Eager to capitalize on their impressive form, Coyle’s squad continued to seek goal-scoring opportunities, ultimately securing their fifth goal of the night. Vincy Barretto found himself in a scoring position in the 84th minute, with Jordan Murray’s precise pass setting up their fifth strike of the match.
Late Consolation for Punjab FC
In the closing moments of the game, Krishnananda Singh unleashed a long-range shot that found the back of the net, providing Punjab FC with a consolation goal. However, it was a case of too little, too late for the visitors.
Key Performer – Rafael Crivellaro
Rafael Crivellaro emerged as the standout performer of the match. Contributing a goal and two assists to Chennaiyin FC’s resounding victory. His impressive stats included 21 completed passes, three goal-scoring opportunities created, and eight crosses. Epitomizing his pivotal role in his team’s morale-boosting win on home turf.
Chennaiyin FC is set to host FC Goa on November 5. While Punjab FC will embark on a journey to face Mumbai City FC on November 2.
Chennaiyin FC 5 (Ryan Edwards 24’, Connor Shields 27’ 56’, Rafael Crivellaro 45+1’, Vincy Barretto 84’) – 1 (Krishananda Singh 86’)
As the ISL 2023-24 season unfolds, Chennaiyin FC’s remarkable victory serves as a testament to their attacking prowess and determination. While Punjab FC looks to regroup and bounce back in their upcoming fixtures.