AIFF Media Team
Aizawl FC 2 (22’ & 91’ Andrei Ionescu) beat
Chennaiyin FC 2 ( 89’ Mailson Alves; 115’ Dhanachandra Singh)
Penalty Shoot Outs:
Aizawl FC - 5 (Andrei Ionescu; Zikahi Dodoz; Masih Saighani; Kimkima; M-Ka)
Chennaiyin FC - 3 (Bikramjit Singh; Dhanapal Ganesh; Dhanachandra Singh)
BHUBANESWAR: Hero Super Cup’s round of 16 couldn’t have begun on a better note at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar today. Hero I-League 2017 Champions, Aizawl FC kick-started their campaign defeating the Hero ISL 2018 Champions Chennayin FC in a nail-biting penalty shootout 5-3 (2-2). Romanian Midfielder Andrei Ionescu (22’ & 91’) scored both the goals for Aizawl FC while Brazilian Mailson Alves (89’) and Dhanachandra Singh (115’) scored for Chennayin FC within the regulation time and extra time.
The first half began with Aizawl FC going on an attacking mode from the first minute. Their first attempt at the Chennayin FC goal came in the second minute through Afghan Masih Saighani, but they failed to find the back of the net. Aizawl FC were soon lucky enough to get another chance to score through free kick just a couple of minutes later from just outside the goal box, but the shot yielded no results, landing safely into the hands of Chennayin FC goalkeeper Karanji t Singh. The first half thereafter saw a series of attack from Aizawl FC but the Hero I-League 2016 - 17 Champions failed to convert any chance into a goal.
Aizawl FC’s drew first blood in the 22nd minute when Romanian Andrei Ionescu made a brilliant run through the scattered Chennayin FC defenders, giving the Hero I-League 2016-2017 Champions a much-needed lead in the game. Chennayin FC, however, tried coming back through a few coordinated attacks later but they couldn’t make way past the Aizawl FC defenders. The very entertaining first half came to an end with Aizawl FC having a lone goal advantage over Chennaiyin FC.
Aizawl FC continued with their attacking game even in the second half but failed to capitalize on their lead. However, on the other hand, Chennayin FC made some coordinated attempts and but some very brave saves from Aizawl FC goalkeeper Arup ensured that Aizawl FC maintained their solitary goal lead in the knockout encounter. Chennayin FC finally breathed relief in the 89th minute through a cracking goal from Brazilian Mailson Alves. Chennayin FC thereafter kept pressing on the opponent’s side but failed to get a lead within the regulation time.
Romanian Andrei Ionescu reinstated Aizawl Fc’s lead (2-1) with a fantastic goal beating Chennayin FC defenders in the very first minute of the Extra Time. The first half of Extra Time ended with Aizawl FC leading 2-1 against Chennayin FC. The second half of the extra time saw both the sides taking close chances but it was Dhanachandra Singh’s ground shot from just outside the box that gave Chennayin FC the much-needed equaliser in the 115th minute taking the game to penalty shoot-outs.
The match finally went into a shootout which saw both teams being tested for their mental strength as Aizawl FC held their nerve whereas Indian Super League Champions Chennaiyin FC missed one penalty in the form of Mohd. Rafi which cost them the match.
Andrei Ionescu was adjudged the Hero of the Match having scored both the goals for Aizawl FC.
Posted on : Saturday March 31, 2018