As the match headed towards a finish, Nerijus Valskis beat a hapless Kamaljit to get the first win of the season for John Gregory's men. Schembri and Valskis combined to send the latter through on goal and he tucked in an excellent finish to send the home crowd into raptures on the stroke of the full-time whistle. It was Chennaiyin FC's first win in 289 days, bringing a lot of relief for Gregory, who two weeks ago was contemplating an exit. CFC's first goal of the season came when Schembri who came on as a substitute, smashed one past the HFC goalie. MATCH REPORT
That was it.. that is the goal they had been waiting for. Andre Schembri scores the first goal of the season for Chennaiyin FC!
Edwin Vanspaul with the cross and at the far post is Schembri, who fights the ball off Mohammed Yasir. He cuts back and shots a low shot and Kamaljit Singh is finally beaten.
Chennaiyin FC 1-0 Hyderabad FC
69' - Substitution!
Eli Sabia lets one rip from distance but it just kisses the bar and goes out.
A double change for Chennaiyin. Drago Petru Firtulescu comes on for Masih Saighani and Germanpreet Singh in place of Thoi Singh.
Hyderabad aking a change as BOBO is brought off by Phil Brown and in comes Gani Ahmmed Nigam
End to end stuff now!
The keepers having a clearing contest. Marcelo Pereira's corner is easily cleared by the Chennaiyin defence. Hyderabad tries to pass it back to the keeper who is chased down and his clearance becomes a chance at the other end. Kamaljit Singh has to race out of his goal and make a clearance of his own.
32' - Cleared off the line!
The football Gods must be crazy! Chennaiyin FC seem to have developed an allergy for a goal or there has to be a magnet steering balls away from it or stopping it.
Matthew Kilgallon as on the line and he makes a crucial interception. Anirudh Thapa's strike was going in...
Two back-to-back chances for Chennaiyin's Lallianzuala Chhangte!
First, he fails to control the ball near the goal with a good space in front of him and in the second instance just 3 minutes later, he slips as he is taking the shot and it is saved for a corner.
The fans are cheering for every attack...
Chennaiyin FC (Photo Credit: ISL)
The win takes the two-time ISL champion to four points and ninth in the standings, pushing Hyderabad to the last place.
In the 68th minute, Matthew Kilgallon blocked a fierce shot by Rafael Crivellaro to deny CFC a goal.
Earlier, it was a goalless first half but not without excitement. The home team created a lot of chances but as has been the case this season so far, the finishing touch was missing. The best chance came in the 25th minute when an unmarked Lallianzuala Chhangte missed his header from close range.
Hyderabad FC defence was caught off guard at times but skipper Kamaljit Singh led from the front and came up with a few good saves. A goalline clearance by Kilgallon in the 32nd minute was the closest Chennaiyin got.
Crivellaro and Chhangte made their way past the HFC defence but couldn't find the net. The Chennaiyin coach was left fuming after Chhangte sent a close-range header agonisingly wide.
It was one-way traffic, but the opening goal continued to elude Chennaiyin. Some good work from Anirudh Thapa saw Chhangte get to the byline. His eventual cutback found Thapa but his shot on the turn was kept out by a combination of Kamaljit and Matthew Kilgallon.
Despite the occasional forays forward by Hyderabad, the pattern of the game remained the same till the break with Chennaiyin squandering chances galore.
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