Chennaiyin FC put on a breathtaking performance on the road in a ten-goal match, coming out as 7-3 victors over NorthEast United FC in their Indian Super League match at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.
Midfielder Abdenasser El Khayati pulled all the strings for the Marina Machans, bagging a hat-trick and two assists, to set a new ISL record for most goal contributions in a match.
El Khayati opened the scoring in the game, putting his team 1-0 up in the 11th minute before the Highlanders equalised, and then sealed his hat-trick with goals on either side of the half-time whistle.
Petar Sliskovic also had a fine game up front for Chennaiyin FC with a brace, with one of his goals set up by El Khayati. Julius Duker was the other beneficiary of El Khayati’s stellar show, bagging a 68th minute goal to wrap up a near-perfect attacking performance. Joe Zoherliana (79’) had a night to forget, guiding the ball into his own net to give Chennaiyin FC their seventh goal of the evening.
New NorthEast United FC head coach Vincenzo Annese was taking charge of his team for the first time following the departure of Marco Balbul. It was a difficult start to his time in charge, but there were some positives to take back from the game. Wilmar Gil Jordan was on target for NorthEast United FC from the penalty spot and Romain Philippoteaux smashed in a great volley in the second-half. Rochharzela added another goal for the Highlanders five minutes into stoppage time. But ultimately, all of it came much too late.
Their early momentum was disrupted by El Khayati, who got on the end of an excellent cut-back from Prasanth K from the right flank. Khayati’s guided volley effort set the tone for his performance.
El Khayati, Sliskovic, and Rahim Ali were a constant threat with El Khayati getting his second four minutes after Jordan’s equaliser, and Sliskovic getting his first just before half-time. El Khayati’s second was a brilliant bending effort. Sliskovic’s brace included two headers, with his first coming from an excellent near-post run. Chennaiyin FC were heading into the second-half with a 3-1 lead.
Whatever resolve NorthEast United FC had earlier in the game was lost quite early in the second with El Khayati completing his hat-trick three minutes into the second-half with a driven effort from range. Sliskovic made it 5-1 for Chennaiyin FC in the 57th minute with another thumping header. Julius Duker joined the party 11 minutes later to put Chennaiyin FC 6-1 ahead. The next three goals in the game all came from NorthEast United FC, two in their favor and one in Chennaiyin’s.
Goa beat Odisha
FC Goa broke their losing streak and put an end to Odisha FC’s winning after a comfortable 3-0 win in the ISL at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday.
Substitute Brison Fernandes broke the deadlock with his first touch in the 74th minute before Noah Sadaoui and Alvaro Vazquez wrapped up the three points for the Gaurs. The Juggernauts were reduced to ten men in the 65th minute when Nandhakumar Sekar was shown a second yellow, and FC Goa made the visitors pay with all three goals coming after.
FC Goa made three changes. Glan Martins came in to replace the suspended Edu Bedia in midfield. Fares Arnaout started in defence, and the Gaurs’ top-scorer Sadaoui started up front, with Marc Hernandez and Vazquez dropping to the bench. Odisha FC made a couple of changes. Lalruatthara slotted into the left-back position, replacing the injured Sahil Panwar. Up top, Pedro Martin started, and Diego Mauricio dropped to the bench.
The visitors kept more of the ball during the first half and had more chances to score. The first came six minutes into the game when Osama Malik dinked the ball across the face of goal before Martin missed it whilst attempting the spectacular. The ball was eventually volleyed at goal by Narender Gahlot and beaten off the line by Anwar Ali
Six minutes from the break, the ball was cleared off the line again. This time it was Ayush Chhetri who came to FC Goa’s rescue. Dheeraj Singh missed the ball from an inswinging corner completely as Saul Crespo’s goal-bound header was kneed onto the upright by Chhetri.
At the other end, against the run of play, Brandon Fernandes put Iker Guarrotxena through on goal. However, Carlos Delgado’s tackle allowed Amrinder Singh to sprint forward and parry it away from the Spaniard. But the ball was parried straight to Sadaoui, who failed to get the ball into an empty goal from near the edge of the box in the 42nd minute.
Five minutes past the hour mark, The Juggernauts were reduced to ten men after a challenge by Nandhakumar Sekar on Princeton Rebello saw him receive a second yellow.
In the 74th minute, Seriton Fernandes played a through ball down the right flank, and Sadaoui pounced on it before pulling it back for substitute Brison. With his first touch, Brison smashed the ball in at the near post to give his side the lead.
Four minutes later, FC Goa doubled their lead courtesy of Sadaoui. Seriton played another sublime cross towards Vazquez, whose effort came off the crossbar. Amrinder punched the rebound only as far as Sadaoui, who finished powerfully. In the final minute, Sadaoui slid Vazquez through on goal, and the striker put the game to bed.