The matchday between Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC ended in a thrilling 1-0 victory of the Bengaluru-side. Neither of the teams wanted to concede the first goal.

Both were showing a higlhy-intense level of gampelay and were not willing to leave any space behind for the opponent to attack and refused to push more numbers forward into the final third. As a result, it seemed like a cagey affair featuring an intense midfield battle.

Indian Super League
Sunil Chettri and his team mates of Bengaluru FC

On a night where the experienced players like Indian captain, Sunil Chhetri and Brazillian prolific star, Cleiton Silva failed to meet the expectations, it was the young Indian midfielder Suresh Wangjam who stood out for the Blues. He was excellent throughout the game, ready to tackle, run with the ball and intercept at the right times. The way he took the workload was simply impressive. Bengaluru dealt with Chennaiyin’s attacks but they were helped by an unfortunate injury to Anirudh Thapa early on in the game which proved to be advantageous for Bengaluru.

Chennaiyin FC player attempts a shot
Anirudh Thapa is an AIFF Elite Academy gem.

Edwin Sydney Vanspaul was his replacement but Chennaiyin’s aggression lacked than usual. It was Vanspaul who dived into an ill-timed challenge that gifted a penalty from which Chhetri scored.

Edwin Sydney Vanspaul during his days at Chennai City FC

 Ashique Kuruniyan, who remains a left-back under Carles Cuadrat, could have had an early bath for persistent fouling in the initial phase. The Malayali winger-turnt-full-back’s discipline and positional issues have cost the Blues in the past but he continues to be a left-back.  Kuruniyan also should have conceded a penalty when Rafael Crivellaro’s header struck his outstretched arm inside the penalty box but the referee seemed to have overlooked it.

Chennaiyin were pressing high in the second half and were arguably the stronger side towards the end of the game though it didn’t seem to have any worth. But from the first three matches, it had been the defensive side of Bengaluru that has kept them going thanks to former Mohun Bagan star, Fran Gonzalez.

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