MANJERI: Churchill Brothers FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC played out a goalless draw in a Group D clash of the Hero Super Cup at the Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri, on Saturday, April 15, 2023.
Both the teams started the match with a cautious approach and much of the play revolved around the midfield area in the initial stages.
Chennaiyin FC Head Coach Tomas Brdaric relied on the likes of Rahim Ali in the forward line, who had scored a brace in their previous match against NorthEast United FC.
The first real chance of the match came in the 26th minute when Aakash Sangwan whipped in a curling left-footed corner, which went to his teammate, Fallou Diagne. The Senegalese Centre-back, however, failed to convert from a touching distance.
Churchill Brothers had their first shot on target when Liberian, Ansumana Kromah tested Chennaiyin goalkeeper Samik Mitra from inside the penalty box.
Kromah missed a golden opportunity minutes before the end of first half, when his header from close range went high over the crossbar. He had only Chennaiyin custodian Samik Mitra to beat.
Chennaiyin FC created more chances in the second half but could not break the deadlock as they faltered in front of the goalmouth.
Young left back Aakash Sangwan, who won the Hero of the Match award against North East United FC in their first group match, wasn’t as effective as he was the other day.
Tomas Brdaric introduced veteran midfielder Mohammad Rafique, to add some creativity in the midfield in the second half. He drew a tackle from Churchill midfielder Richard Costa after coming on. Richard was shown a second yellow card for the crunching tackle on the former India international and the Goan team had to play the last quarter of the match with 10 men.
Both teams knew the importance of a win in this match to keep their hopes alive for a possible place in the knockout stages.
The draw means Chennaiyin FC have to win their last group match against current Hero Indian Super League Shield champions Mumbai City FC to qualify for the semi-finals.