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ISL 2023-24: Late goal helps Hyderabad FC win thriller, jolt Chennaiyin FC’s playoff hopes

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ISL 2023-24: Late goal helps Hyderabad FC win thriller, jolt Chennaiyin FC’s playoff hopes

Chennai, March 9 (IANS) Hyderabad FC secured their first win of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 campaign as the Thangboi Singto-coached team defeated Chennaiyin FC 1-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Saturday night. Sajjad Parray scored the lone goal of the match in the 89th minute to seal victory for Hyderabad FC.

In an encounter in which forwards from both sides created numerous goal-scoring chances, Hyderabad FC returned as the happier unit as the Marina Machans were handed a massive blow amidst their aspirations to qualify for the playoffs. The crossbar of both goalposts was rattled multiple times, but the eventual breakthrough came in the form of Sajjad Parray netting the winner amidst an overcrowded Chennaiyin FC box in the 89th minute of the contest.

Chennaiyin FC had several chances to get a foot ahead in the match, with their attacking trio of Ninthoinganba Meetei, Vincy Barretto, and Farukh Choudhary teaming brilliantly with Brazilian playmaker Rafael Crivellaro to take shots at Hyderabad FC custodian Laxmikant Kattimani. Twelve minutes into the game, Crivellaro carved open the Hyderabad FC backline for Meetei on the right side of the 18-yard box. The winger received the ball well but shot on the outside of the net from a fairly narrow angle.

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Nearly 11 minutes later, Barretto brought down a long ball on the outside of the box and squared up a pass for Farukh Choudhary who was taking his position on the left flank. Farukh shot from his first touch, but Kattimani got an important touch at the ball as it deflected off the crossbar to keep the scores level. It was Hyderabad FC’s turn to return the favour, with the likes of Makhan Chothe and Abdul Rabeeh taking the game to the opposition, and exploiting spaces left vacant by the Chennaiyin FC defence on the brink of the half-time whistle.

Chothe had notched a strike in the previous game but on Saturday night he turned the provider, taking the ball wide deep on the left flank before curling in a cross for Rabeeh at the centre of the box. Rabeeh attempted a shot off his head, but as fate would have had it, the ball again hit the post!

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Thankfully for Sajjad, his shot from a long ball in the 90th minute was shot straight into the back of the net. Hyderabad FC began taking their chances as the game entered its final phases, putting numbers ahead, knowing that Chennaiyin FC would be desperate to find the back of the net and hence a defensive error from the home team’s end was likely. Sajjad received the ball with his right foot and merely slotted it past Debjit Majumder to bag Hyderabad FC’s maiden win of the campaign.

Late in the added time, Mohammed Rafi was sent off for the visitors, but the job was all done for them by then. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC continue to languish in the 11th spot after this loss, with four games and 12 points still left for them to play for in the rest of this campaign.

–IANS

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