I-League 2018-19: Pedro Manzi hat-trick floors lacklustre Indian Arrows
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Chennai City register their first victory over Indian Arrows as Pedro Manzi steals the show...

Chennai City FC registered a thumping 4-1 victory over Indian Arrows in the inaugural match of I-League at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Coimbatore. 

Although Indian Arrows drew first blood as Amarjit Singh scored on the second minute but Pedro Manzi (31', 49', 64') stole the show as he scored three against a hapless Indian Arrows defence. Alexander Jesuraj (76') bagged the fourth as he made no mistake to finish from close range after getting hold of a rebound from Prabhsukhan Gill.

Chennai City head coach Akbar Nawas chose to field his side in a 4-3-3 formation with Kabir T under the sticks. Edwin Vanspaul, Roberto E, Tarif Akhand and Ajithkumar Kamaraj formed the four-man backline. Gaurav Bora, Sandro R and Nestor Gordillo had the responsibility to win balls at the centre of the park whereas Alexander Jesuraj and Michael Regin manned the wings. Pedro Manzi started as a lone striker upfront. 

Whereas, opposition head coach Floyd Pinto went into the game with a 4-1-4-1 formation with Gill as the custodian. Asish Rai, Gurkirat Singh, Anwar Ali and Narendra in defence with Jitendra Singh as a defensive midfielder. Jeakson Singh, Amarjit Singh, Sanjeev Stalin and Rahim Ali occupied the midfield with Rahul KP leading the lines. 

Indian Arrows had a blistering stat to the game as Amarjit Singh scored with his first shot of the match. Asish Rai made a darting run on the right wing before putting in a low cross which was defended poorly by Chennai. When the ball reached the Arrows skipper he made no mistake to slot it past Kabir T. 

After the first 15 mminutes Indian Arrows slowly started to fade away from the game. Gordillo and Sandro started taking control of the midfield and Manzi began to look more threatening with each passing minute. 

Right after the half-hour mark, Chennai found their equalizer. It was Gordillo who produced a peach of a through ball to set up Manzi and the hat-trick hero did no mistake to find the net from close range. 

On the 49th minute mark, Manzi put his team in front as he made no mistake to score past Gill after he once again set up by Gordillo with a delicious lobbed ball over defence. 

Manzi kept running behind Arrows backline and foxed Ali and co. with his subtle runs. Pinto's boys failed to maintain their shape and they were repeatedly exposed as Chennai kept going forward with the ball. 

Rai handed the ball inside the box which resulted into a penalty for Chennai. Manzi showed his class once again from the spot as he sent Gill the wrong way before converting from the spot. 

Alexander Jesuraj put in an impressive shift on the right wing and he was finally rewarded with a goal in the 76th minute. Sandro's menacing run on the left flank was too good for Arrows' defence and he tried his luck from just outside the box which was saved by Gill. But the rebound fell for an unmarked Jesuraj who made no mistake to find the net from close range. 

Chennai City will next host Churchill Brothers on November 1 whereas Indian Arrows will face Shillong Lajong at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on November 5. 

 

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