Chennai, Tamil Nadu: Chennaiyin FC’s woes in the Hero Indian Super League season were compounded by Delhi Dynamos FC, who scripted a 3-1 win at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on Saturday.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia’s (16’) header had given Delhi the lead before a Raphael Augusto penalty (38’) restored parity. However, two second-half goals from former Chennaiyin FC man Bikramjit Singh (78’) and Nandhakumar Sekar (82’) handed Delhi Dynamos their first win of the season.
The result sees Delhi jump to the ninth spot with seven points from 12 games while Chennaiyin dropped to the bottom of the table with no chance now of retaining the title they won so majestically last season.
It were Chennaiyin FC who began the brighter of the two teams, with Carlos Salom going close with a header from a narrow angle in the fifth minute.
Despite patchy football in attack, the home team were full of intent and could have capitalised in the 12th minute after Marti Crespi lost the ball in defence and had to bring down Salom. Chennaiyin executed a good routine from the resulting free-kick and Raphael Augusto’s goal bound effort had to be brilliantly clawed out by Delhi goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsorro.
A few minutes later, Delhi took advantage of a complacent Chennaiyin defence to take the lead. Rene Mihelic played Nandhakumar clear down the left wing and his cross from the byline was expertly headed in by Daniel.
Stung by the goal, the hosts showed greater urgency in attack and started creating chances. Salom saw a good header saved by Dorronsorro before Mailson Alves failed to direct Anirudh Thapa’s corner in from close range.
However, their efforts were rewarded in the 37th minute when Salom was knocked down in the box by Mohd Sajid Dhot while trying to control a cross. The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and Raphael easily dispatched it to bring Chennaiyin on level terms.
Chennaiyin FC continued to see more of the ball after the break. However, the game was scrappy with both teams failing to string together a quality move in the final third.
The home team did have a chance in the 63rd minute when they broke forward on a counter-attack. Issac Vanmalsawma, who was introduced in the second half, could only come up with a tame effort at the end of it, much to the disappointment of coach John Gregory.
The wasted the chances came back to haunt the defending champions in the 78th minute when Lallianzuala Chhangte was set free down the right on a counter. He squared the ball to Bikramjit Singh in the box who had the simple task of rolling it past Karanjit Singh to send Delhi 2-1 ahead.
Four minutes later, the result was sealed by Nandhakumar who saw his shot from outside the box take a big deflection and nestle in the back of the net, leaving the defending champions shell-shocked.