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Chennaiyin FC continue to concede late goals post John Gregory era

06:14 GMT 10/12/2019
Jamshedpur FC v Chennaiyin FC
The ISL must consider appointing more foreign referees after Jamshedpur FC’s ‘ridiculous’ goal against Chennaiyin….

It took Chennaiyin FC five matches to score their first goal in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) season. After three defeats, a draw and no goals scored in their first four matches, Chennaiyin had finally managed to break the jinx and score against Hyderabad FC.

Since their humiliating defeat to Bengaluru in their fourth game, Chennaiyin have remained unbeaten in their next three matches and have managed to score five.

But unfortunately out of the last three unbeaten games, they have managed to win only against Hyderabad.

Chennaiyin lately have made a habit of conceding late goals and throw away leads. They did it against Hyderabad where they conceded in the 95th minute after taking the lead in the 92nd minute but thankfully, they scored one more in the dying embers of the match and sealed the three points.

In their fifth match against Odisha FC, the Marina Machans were leading 2-1 until 82nd minute when Aridane Santana’s strike saw them to drop two points.

After the Odisha draw at home, manager John Gregory resigned and in came former Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle. But it seems Chennaiyin's fortunes have not changed.

On Monday, Chennaiyin were leading against Jamshedpur FC until the 89th when a controversial Issac Vanmalsawma goal once again denied them full three points. While it was unfair on the team, given that Issac's shot had gone in after blatantly Farukh Chowdhury's hand which the officials did not spot.

While the referee deserves a lot of criticism for making such an error at an important stage in the game, Chennaiyin have only themselves to blame since they failed to double their lead despite getting a couple of gilt-edged chances to do so.

It is not that Chennaiyin defenders did not play well. In fact, Eli Sabia and Lucian Goian did a tremendous job throughout the game. But the team as a whole tends to lose focus in the final quarter of games which results in them conceding late goals.

Lallianzuala Chhangte was one of the most high profile Indian signings of this summer and a lot was expected from the talented India international.

But the winger has so far disappointed. Chhangte has a lot of pace and is often a livewire on the flanks but his final deliveries have been sub par. Neither are his crosses accurate nor has he converted chances inside the box. Chhangte’s failure upfront has heavily affected Chennaiyin’s performance this season.

Jamshedpur started the match without two of their best foreign recruits - Piti and Sergio Castel. For the first time this season, Antonio Iriondo fielded an all-Indian attack which was more due to a lack of options than choice.

The Men of Steel lacked the creativity in the attacking third and were not at their usual best. They lacked the command on the field and that allowed Chennaiyin to take the lead.

It was only when Chennaiyin suddenly went on the back foot in the second half, Jamshedpur started creating chances up front.

Thanks to some very poor refereeing, the hosts managed to save their faces by scoring an equaliser.

Most ISL clubs and their managers have been very vocal about the poor refereeing since day one. Given the number of refereeing mistakes that have been occuring, it is time that the league addressed the issue.