Goa: Chennai City registered their first win in the I-League, defeating Churchill Brothers 2-0 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa on Tuesday. Jean Michael Joachim and Murilo Almedia scored both the goals across each halfs to secure the win, leaving Churchill lingering at the bottom place.
Desperate for a win after collecting just one point from the last four outings, coach Soundarajan replaced Henry Monsang and Charles Anandraj Lourdusamy with the more experienced Dharmaraj Ravanan and Alexander Romario.
Both teams started the match on an attacking spree but Chennai could have well gone ahead in the 15th minute only for Jean Joachim to squander an easy chance from a Edwin Vanspaul cross.
Minutes later the woodwork came to rescue for the ‘Red Machines’ twice in quick succession. Captain Michael Soosairaj who had been the most impressive player for Chennai so far in the campaign came close with long-range shot that rattled the bar, while Pandiyan Srinivasan’s half-volley hit the upright.
Joachim nonetheless made amends for the earlier lapse putting one past goalkeeper James Kithan after receiving a long ball from Veniamin Shumeiko at the brink of half-time.
Resuming from the break, Chennai increased their lead to 2-0 at the 52nd minute, when Murilo Almedia dribbled past the Churchill Brothers defence before unleashing a curled left footer to give his side a comfortable two goal cushion.
Things soon went from bad to worst for the ‘Red Machines’ after Banpynkhrawnam Nongkhaw was send off following the two yellow cards in the space for six minutes.
Playing at home Churchill were expected to put up a better performance especially after that close fight against East Bengal in their previous encounter. Alfred Fernandes’ side however lacked the general urgency in attacks and created far less chances than the visiting side.
Following the loss Churchill remain winless after five matches and are yet to open their points account. Meanwhile, Chennai moved up to the seventh position with four points from five matches.