Chennaiyin FC completed a double over Hyderabad FC with a dominant 3-1 win in the Hero Indian Super League clash at the GMC Balayogi Stadium here on Friday.
Nerijus Valskis (43’, 65’) scored a brace and Rafael Crivellaro (40’) got on the scoresheet as the visitors cruised to an easy victory and made it 12 points from 11 games. Marcelinho (88’) scored for Hyderabad whose struggles at both ends of the field continued. They are winless in nine matches and remain at the bottom of the table with five points from 12 matches.
Chennaiyin made their intentions clear by pressing for a goal right at the start. Five minutes into the first half, Anirudh Thapa played Andre Schembri through on goal with a wonderful through-ball. Schembri attempted to chip the ball over the keeper, but Kamaljit Singh tipped the ball away.
Hyderabad struggled to create clear-cut chances but went close midway through the half. Nikhil Poojary crossed from the left to the edge of the box for Nestor Gordillo whose shot with the outside of his boot flew just wide of the goal. Minutes later, Marko Stankovic pounced on Schembri’s misplaced pass and curled an effort which Vishal Kaith parried away.
Chennaiyin’s control of the game grew as the half wore on and they took advantage of the hosts’ poor defending to add two goals before the break. Asish Rai got his back-pass completely wrong and gifted the ball to Valskis who unselfishly squared it to Crivellaro with just the keeper to beat. The Brazilian took a touch and slotted the ball into the net to give Chennaiyin the lead.
Three minutes later, Schembri laid the ball for Valksis at the edge of the box and what followed was a stunning strike into the net that left the keeper helpless.
Hyderabad’s efforts to get back into the game after the break were in vain as the likes of Bobo and Marcelinho failed to make an impact in the final third. The latter dribbled past his marker down the left flank and shot wide from a narrow-angle before the hour-mark but his team’s build-up play lacked conviction.
Chennaiyin soon added a third and took the game away from their opponents. Crivellaro collected a throw-in from the left, outfoxed his marker with quick feet at the edge of the box and set his teammate Valskis up for a shot. The forward fired the ball into the net with aplomb to secure the win for the visitors.
Stankovic fed Marcelinho through on goal at the fag end of the game and the Brazilian scored what was nothing more than a late consolation.