Saturday, Dec 16, 2017 | Last Update : 02:59 AM IST
The goals Chennaiyin scored came from a free kick that was fumbled by the goalkeeper and a questionable penalty.
Chennai: After a 2-3 loss at the hands of FC Goa in their first match of ISL-4, Chennaiyin FC have much to contemplate as they take on NorthEast United at the Nehru Stadium here on Thursday. Giving away three goals in the first half without even a shot on target was a chastening experience for them.
The goals Chennaiyin scored came from a free kick that was fumbled by the goalkeeper and a questionable penalty. Chennaiyin fans would want the team to open their account here on Thursday.
Chennaiyin coach John Gregory agreed responsibility for the defeat lay in his selection and team formation.
The Englishman substituting Slovenian Rene Mehelic for Dutchman Gregory Nelson when the team were three goals down was questionable when it was evident Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto was struggling.
According to the coach, Augusto was not 100 per cent fit and it was evident on the field.
Why, then, did he allow Augusto to remain and pulled out Mehelic, Chennaiyin’s sharpest player in an otherwise wretched first half?
NorthEast United, who opened their season with a goalless draw against Jamshedpur FC, have always flattered to deceive never having qualified for the play-offs in the first three seasons.
The team owned by actor John Abraham would want to give their loyal fans something to cheer about this year. NorthEast’s tradition of hiring and firing coaches every season continues as they have a new man, Portuguese Joao de Deus, at the helm this year.
NorthEast were unlucky to not to have gained full points from their first match, having dominated Jamshedpur throughout the 90 minutes.
History is in favour of them on Thursday as they have lost only once against Chennaiyin in six matches.