But to reach there, the South Indian club had to negotiate a tough two-legged playoff against FC Goa. The Gaurs had been scoring freely and were on quite a run of form going into the fixture. In fact, Goa took the lead in the first leg and looked set for a narrow win.
But up stepped 20-year-old midfielder Anirudh Thapa who fired home the equaliser late on to hand Chennaiyin FC a vital away goal advantage. That was enough for John Gregory's men to see the tie through in the second leg.
Thapa, a central midfielder by trade, enjoyed a breakthrough season. His passing and vision from the centre of the park have come of use to the Chennai-based outfit many a time during the season.
In fact, he has been the one Gregory turns to unlock defences in tight games or to introduce some energy and creativity to the midfield late on during games. His setpiece ability also makes him a key threat in such situations.
It is no wonder that Anirudh Thapa is our Rising Star of the Month.