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Punjab v Chennai City

Punjab FC thrash reigning I-League champions Chennai City FC 3-1

10:14 GMT 10/12/2019
Punjab FC
Punjab pick up first win after late surge against Chennai City...

Punjab FC defeated defending champions Chennai City FC 3-1 at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Tuesday afternoon. The hosts drew first blood through substitute Aser Dipanda in the 78th minute before Pedro Manzi equalized for the visitors in the 85th minute. But two late goals from Thoiba Singh (87') and Sergio Barboza (90+1') helped Punjab register their first win of this I-League season.

Punjab head coach Yan Law made a string of changes from his side that drew 1-1 at home against East Bengal. Anwar Ali returned to the line-up after having served his one-match suspension along with Jason Hart. 

Whereas, Akbar Nawas, made a soliatry change from the Chennai City line-up that won 1-0 at home against TRAU FC, with Shem Martin Eugene starting in place of Adolfo Miranda Araujo.

Both sides kicked-off proceedings on the front foot, looking to capitalise on the slightest of lapses. In the ninth minute, it was Punjab who came close to taking the lead. A deflected Calvin Lobo attempt on goal almost wrong-footed Chennai goalkeeper Nauzet Garcia Santana but the Spaniard made some last-second adjustments to pull off the save.

Punjab had a golden opportunity before half-time to break the deadlock. In the 39th minute, Sergio Barboza was through on goal and with only the keeper to beat, he failed to find the back of the net as he was denied by Santana.

Dipanda was introduced in the second half when he replaced Girik Mahesh Khosla in the 56th minute.

The substitution paid dividends as he leaped the highest to meet a corner from Sanju Pradhan, and his header found the back of the net. 

The visitors, despite falling behind, didn’t give up the chase. In the 85th minute, a cross from the left flank was met by Manzi, and he made no mistake in finishing it. 

But Punjab scored again to restore their lead. A late scramble in the Chennai City box was fully capitalised by Thoiba Singh. 

The former champions went on to add another late into injury time to seal their first win of the season. Makan Winkle Chote delivered an inch-perfect cross from the right flank and Barboza, did not make any mistake to send the ball into the net. 

The win takes Punjab FC to fifth place in the I-League table with 4 points, while Chennai City slip to sixth.