Chennaiyin at the moment are eighth within the desk with 9 factors whereas Kerala, who missed their coach Eelco Schattorie as a result of a double yellow, dropped to ninth spot with seven factors.
Andre Schembri, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Nerijus Valskis scored a objective every for the guests whereas Bartholomew Ogbeche, who was getting back from an damage, was heading in the right direction for the guests earlier than the Nigerian walked off injured at half time. All of the objectives got here within the first half itself. Chennaiyin defender Eli Sabia was despatched off within the 90th minute after seeing a second yellow.
The match had its share of controversy and drama within the 25th minute with the scoreline studying 1-1. Chennaiyin’s Anirudh Thapa fouled Seityasen Singh close to the centre circle however the referee Om Prakash Thakur unusually awarded a free-kick to Chennaiyin. Even earlier than the Kerala gamers might protest in opposition to the choice, Valskis rapidly took the free-kick to launch Schembri on the proper. The Maltese ahead ran down the proper flank earlier than laying it off once more for Valskis who slotted it residence. The Kerala gamers objected instantly and the referee, who had already awarded the objective, consulted his assistants after a number of heckling and disallowed the objective.
Stung by the choice, the Chennaiyin gamers reacted in the one approach attainable and took the lead once more within the very subsequent minute upon the resumption of play. Rafael Crivellaro, who held Chennaiyin’s midfield collectively, lobbed a ball over Kerala defence for Valskis. The Lithuanian striker squared it off for Chhangte and the Mizoram winger calmly scored his first objective for Chennaiyin to make it 2-1 within the 30th minute.
Whereas the objective confirmed the character of Chennaiyin gamers, it was additionally an announcement of their optimistic intent. The way in which Chennaiyin gamers used and attacked the areas on the sphere confirmed that they meant goal. And it resulted in all their three objectives, the primary of which got here as early as within the fourth minute.
Crivellaro was as soon as once more the orchestrator as he fooled a poor Kerala defence with clever play. After doing all of the exhausting work on the left, he softly directed a go in direction of Schembri. The Kerala defenders did not assault the ball with Schembri being in an off-side place. However Crivellaro ran behind the defenders, following his go, and laid it off for Schembri once more. The striker simply transformed to offer Chennaiyin the lead.
Kerala, although, drew degree within the 15th minute from a brief Mario Arques free-kick. The Spanish midfielder’s handed the ball to Ogbeche, who was left unmarked on the highest of the field. The French striker had sufficient time to position his shot within the prime proper nook.
Chennaiyin sealed the match of their favour two minutes earlier than half time. Anirudh Thapa performed a protracted ball to Chhangte from the midfield. Chhangte made a glowing run on the left earlier than lobbing the ball in direction of the objective over an onrushing Kerala goalkeeper TP Rehenesh. The ball although hit the bar however Valskis was on the proper spot in the proper second to faucet the ball residence for his fifth objective of the season.