Football

Lalpekhlua nets CFC’s winner

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Raphael Augusto sank to his knees, Mailson Alves and Eli Sabia embraced each other and Tondonba Singh ran to celebrate with the travelling fans. Emotions were on full display as Chennaiyin FC clinched a hard-fought 1-0 win over Colombo FC in their 2019 AFC Cup playoff clash on Wednesday.

Chennaiyin’s win at The Arena by TransStadia propelled it to the AFC Cup group stage where it has been clubbed with Minerva Punjab, Dhaka Abahani and Manang Marshyangdi Club in Group E.

The ‘home’ side hadn’t scored in 408 minutes coming into the game and Jeje Lalpekhlua, who had scored the side’s last goal, netted the winner. Tondonba whipped in a deceiving ball and Colombo defender Chalana Chameera struggled to clear it and the ball fell kindly to Jeje. The Mizo Sniper made no mistake with his first-time finish.

The goal was a result of the enormous pressure Chennaiyin FC piled on the rival citadel. John Gregory's men kept the Colombo defence on tenterhooks by mounting a barrage of attacks, a refreshing change to its otherwise defensive tactics.

Though the victory wasn’t the most spectacular, it gave Chennaiyin a rare taste of success after a disastrous ISL campaign.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:17:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/lalpekhlua-nets-cfcs-winner/article26524891.ece

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