Chennai City continued their terrific start to the I-League season after notching a 2-1 win over Aizawl FC at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Aizawl on Friday afternoon.
Spanish striker Sandro Rodriguez was the hero for the South Indian outfit. Sandro's second-half brace (49', 77') was enough to win all three points for Chennai City despite Ansumana Kromah (72') pulling one back for the home team.
The victory extends Chennai City's lead atop the I-League to seven points while Aizawl continue to languish at the bottom.
Gift Raikhan opted to start with Kromah up front while Alfred Jaryan and Leonce Dodoz controlled priceedings from midfield. Chennai City had Nestor Gordillo in midfield with Edwin Vanspaul and Alexander Jesuraj deployed on the wings.
The match got off to a sedate start with neither team creating any chance of note though Aizawl FC did force a couple of corners.
The first chance of note fell to Sandro in the 18th minute when he got a shot away on goal but his effort missed the target by inches. Both teams continued to press and search for the opener as the half wore on.
But a lack of edge in the final third let both teams down as the first half finished goalless.
The second half, however, got off to a terrific start as Chennai City got the lead within four minutes. The visitors were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position and up stepped Sandro Rodriguez to take it.
The Spaniard went on to find the top left corner with a brilliant effort that left the vocierous home support stunned.
But Gift Raikhan's side rallied and took the game to the visitors in the search for an equaliser. Lalkhawpuimawia came very close with a header that flew just over the bar in the 70th minute but two minutes later, Aizawl would have their reward.
Isak Vanlalruatfela received a throughball before finding Dodoz with a cross. His shot was parried by the Kabir Thoufiq but Kromah was on hand to turn the rebound in.
However, their joy did not last long as Sandro restored Chennai City's lead within five minutes. The goal came out of nowhere, much to Aizawl's surprise. Jesuraj was the architect after finding himself in space down the right wing. His cross was perfect for Sandro who only had to direct it in with his head and register his third I-League goal of the season.
Chennai City would go on to defend their lead with ease and register their fourth win in five matches.