AFC Cup 2019: Chennaiyin FC defeat Manang Marshyangdi 2-0 for first win of the tournament

Chennaiyin FC

Indian Super League (ISL) club Chennaiyin FC defeated Nepal’s Manang Marshyangdi 2-0 to register their first win in Group E of the AFC Cup 2019 at the TransStadia Arena in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

After a goalless first half, Christopher Herd gave the hosts the lead in the 51st minute of the game before Mailson Alves made it 2-0 two minutes later. Chennaiyin now top Group E with four points while Abahani Dhaka are second with same amount of points.

The first half saw Chennaiyin dominating the proceedings as they enjoyed 70 per cent of the possession and fired seven shots at goal compared to three by the visitors from Nepal.

However, many a times, they were unable to play that final pass for their strikers to test Manang goalkeeper Bishal Shrestha. And when they did, the attackers were well off the mark — as seen from the total of one shot on target from Chennaiyin compared to two from three by the Nepali side.

Full back Laldinliana Renthlei went closest to scoring for Chennaiyin in the first half when his cross from wide right created slight problem for Manang custodian Bishal who chose to be on the safer side and punched it out for a corner kick in the seventh minute.

Perhaps, the moment that got the crowd most excited in the first 45 minutes was a foul from Germanpreet Singh on Sujal Shreshtha resulting in a yellow card for the Chennaiyin man in the 44th minute.

However, Chennaiyin were more incisive in the second period and it paid off early as Australian international Herd gave the hosts the lead via a deflected effort off Manang defender from outside the box.

AFC Cup 2019: Chennaiyin FC 1-0 Manang Marshyangdi (Christopher Herd 51′)

The Indian Super League club did not settle for a one-goal advantage and found their second of the night within two minutes — this time it was their captain and centre-back Mailson who bulged the back of the net with a header from corner kick.

AFC Cup 2019: Chennaiyin FC 2-0 Manang Marshyangdi (Mailson Alves 53′)

Substitute forward Abhishek Rijal could have scored a deserved consolation goal for the visiting side, but his brilliant acrobatic effort from a cross was kept out by Chennaiyin goalkeeper Karanjit in the dying minutes of the second half.

Minerva and Abahani play out 2-2 draw

Abahani Dhaka were held to a 2-2 draw by Minerva Punjab FC in the other match of Group E. Mahmoud Amnah put the visiting Minerva side ahead at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in the 16th minute, but Abahani came back to level four minutes later via Nabib Newaj Jibon.

Minerva once again took the lead before half time — this time courtesy of a goal from Sreyas VG in the 42nd minute. However, Sunday Chizoba levelled for the hosts in the 48th minute and that’s how the score remained at the final whistle.

Chennaiyin will now host the Bangladeshi outfit Abahani on Matchday 3 of Group E on April 30 while Manang Marshyangdi are scheduled to play I-League club Minerva on May 1.