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Hero I-League: TRAU beat Chennai City for their maiden win
Kolkata, January 24, 2021
After three back-to-back draws, a clinical performance by Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) enabled the Manipur-based club to beat Chennai City 2-0 to record their first win of the Hero I-League season at the VYBK Stadium here on Sunday.
An own goal by Elvedin Skrijeli and a 69th-minute Bidyashaga Singh-strike handed TRAU a much-deserved win in a match that was largely dominated by the Nandakumar-coached side.
TRAU certainly did not hold back from the starting minute of the match and adopted a high pressing style, restricting Chennai City FC into their own half and forcing them to play out from the back. In the 4th minute, a loose ball fell to Bidyashagar Singh, who could have taken a touch and gone into the box, but the forward tried the spectacular, a volley from outside the box which went way over the goal.
The Manipur-based outfit had a spring in their step in attack and maintained pressure on their opponents. On the 20th minute, midfielder Kishan Singh went on a blistering run, slicing through the opposition defence, before releasing a through ball to Kumron Tursunov. The Tajik import was, however, ruled offside.
Chennai City looked to brush things up and made a substitution shortly after when coach Satyasagara opted to replace Hari Krishna for Vladimir Molerovic. It had little effect on TRAU as both teams went into the tunnel without a goal.
The breakthrough came four minutes into the second half for TRAU when forward Joseph Olaleye ran onto the right flank after spinning past his marker. The quick forward unleashed a venomous shot that rattled against the thigh of Elvedin and went into the back of the net to hand TRAU the lead.
Frustration built up for Chennai City as chances came rare and all of their attacks were being easily displaced by the TRAU defence. With TRAU’s attacking duo of Olaleye and Bidyashagar giving problems to the Chennai City defence, the Manipur-based club closed in to double their lead.
In the 69th minute, a brilliant build-up play between Olaleye and Bidyashagar saw the latter clear onto goal. From close range, Bidyashagar slotted the ball into the left corner as TRAU doubled their lead.
Chennai City’s captain Charles Anandraj was sent off with a little over a quarter of an hour left, after receiving a second yellow card, to add more to Chennai’s worries. In their yester matches, TRAU had taken the lead but had still failed to get the win. This time was different as the side showed defensive maturity and experience to thwart the opposition attacks.