Football

Chennai City faces the Arrows challenge

Defending champion Chennai City FC will want nothing but a win against Indian Arrows when the two face-off in the Hero I-League clash at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.

Arrows’ young bunch is known for its speed and agility, and Chennai City for its tactical ability. The former is all fired up after stunning Kolkata giant East Bengal by a solitary goal the other day.

Are the Chennai City players ready for Arrows? “Indian Arrows is a difficult team to beat because they run the whole day. They are young and hungry, and have got nothing to lose. They also do not fear where they would end up on the table,” said Akbar Nawas, Chennai City’s head coach.

Nawas, however, knows that his boys are the reigning champions and Arrows’ players the challengers. “Obviously, we will have to be careful and play a perfect game to win. We are well prepared for it, and it is time for our boys to go out there and deliver. I want nothing but a win,” he said.

“They might have speed on their side but it is speed of thought which is important. It can help them take strong decisions when upfront and I have told them that,” added Nawas.

The CCFC coach was pleased with the show against Mohun Bagan here last week, but felt that the team needed to get the set-pieces right. “I feel it is due to lack in concentration. We have been working on it day in and day out, and how I wish lady luck also smiles on us!”

More than good fortune, it’s about balance in both attack and defence. “You will see that happening tomorrow [Wednesday]. The players are raring to go. We have been training hard and I must tell you that I have not seen a more motivated bunch. They really want to do something special,” said Nawas.

Indian Arrows’ coach Venkatesh Shanmugam, too, sounded positive. “Chennai City is a strong side with a good set of foreigners and Indian players. So, it’s going to be one more challenge for us but I expect the boys to play some good football.”

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 1:00:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/chennai-city-faces-the-arrows-challenge/article30735320.ece

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