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I-League 2019-20: Chennai City FC edge TRAU FC 1-0

10:38 AM EST 12/1/19
Chennai City FC
Debutant 'Fito' was on target as the defending champions picked up a narrow win in their opening I-League fixture...

Chennai City FC began their I-League title defence with a 1-0 win over newly-promoted TRAU FC on Sunday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Coimbatore.

Adolfo Miranda Araujo scored the only goal for the hosts in the 50th minute to seal three points for the champions at their home ground.

Akbar Nawaz fielded his side in a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Spanish striker Pedro Manzi spearheading the attack. Katsumi Yusa, who made his debut for the club was deployed in a much deeper role in the midfield.

Chennai City dominated proceedings right from the off but failed to create enough goal-scoring opportunities. The newbies, on the other hand, focused on keeping their defence solid and resorted to counter-attacks. 

After a drab first half which ended without goals, the reigning champions went all guns blazing after the restart.

Chennai picked up their first and only goal of the match in the 50th minute when debutant Miranda Araujo collected a cross inside the box, went past his marker and found the back of the net.

The home side could have doubled their lead in the 58th minute again when Katsumi sent a juicy cross into the box from the right flank but Mashoor Shereef failed to find the back of the net from close range. The defender's header from inside the six yards box went wide.

Pedro Manzi and Miranda combined well in the attacking third and created numerous chances in the second half but failed to convert them.

Akba Nawaz's side kicked-off their season a with full three points in front of their home crowd. They will now face Punjab FC on December 10 in Ludhiana.