GROUP-E: AFC CUP 2019 (CHENNAIYIN FC)


AFC CUP GROUP-E (TABLE)
 Team             P  W  D  L  GF GA  GD	 Pts		 
 CHENNAIYIN FC    4  2  1  1  5	 3   +2  7  	 
 Dhaka Abahani	  4  2  1  1  6	 5   +1	 7	
 Minerva Punjab	  4  0  4  0  5  5   0	 4			 
 Manang Club	  4  0  2  2  3	 6   -3	 2	
15.05.2019 : ABAHONI LIMITED, DHAKA 3-2 CHENNAIYIN FC (FT)
ABH : Belfort 64', Saighani 66', Islam 88'
CFC : Vineeth 6', Vanmalsawma 74
CFC : Karanjit, Eli Sabia, Anirudh Thapa, Dhanpal Ganesh, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Laldinliana Renthlei, Mailson, Chris Herd, Francis Fernandes , C.K. Vineeth.
ABH : Shahidul Alam, Rayhan Hasan, Waly Faisal, Mamunul Islam, Sohel Rana, Nabib Newaz, Sunday Chizoba, Jewel Rana, Saad Uddin, Masih Saighani, Kervens Belfort.

ABAHONI LIMITED, DHAKA<b><font color=red> 3-2 </b></font> CHENNAIYIN FC
CFC PRESS RELEASE : Chennaiyin FC endured their first AFC Cup defeat in a 3-2 loss to Abahani Limited Dhaka at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here today. After CK Vineeth had given Chennaiyin an early lead, Abahani came from behind in the second half with two goals in five minutes. Isaac Vanmalsawma drew CFC level soon after, but Mamunul Islam’s late goal handed the Dhaka side all three points. With the result, Abahani draw level with Chennaiyin on seven points from four games. CFC however remain top on goal difference.

Chennaiyin made a bright start as Renthlei made a surging run down the right in the fourth minute, combining with Francis who was making his first AFC Cup appearance for CFC. Dinliana got into a promising position but could find only the Abahani keeper with his cross. Chennaiyin did convert their dominance into the opening goal in the sixth minute. Isaac’s corner kick found Vineeth unmarked at the far post, the Kerala-born striker tapping it in for his first AFC Cup goal of the season, and his fifth overall in the competition.

CFC continued to press Abahani on all quarters of the pitch. Eli Sabia had a goal disallowed shortly after when he turned in Vineeth’s flick-on from another Isaac set-piece.Abahani worked Karanjit for the first time in the 20th minute. Sunday Chizoba’s flick-on to Belfort found the latter in space. The Haitian striker’s low drive was turned wide by Karanjit for a corner. With the half-hour mark approaching, Abahani enjoyed a spell of sustained possession. From a set-piece, Sunday tested Karanjit with a header from close range. The keeper was in the right place at the right time to hold on to the ball.

Sunday then missed a gilt-edged chance to put his side level. The Nigerian striker’s pass for Belfort came back to him courtesy a CFC block. Sunday couldn’t keep his composure as he blasted his shot over the bar from close range. Abahani had another big chance couple of minutes later. Forward Mohammad Nabib managed to find the onrushing Jewel Rana on the right, who’d snuck up on CFC left-back Jerry Lalrinzuala. The Bangladeshi winger though flashed his first-time shot just wide of Karanjit’s post.

Having led by the solitary goal at the break, CFC were quick off the blocks in the second period. Anirudh Thapa was the orchestrator in midfield as he laid up Isaac at the edge of the box on the break. Isaac took a touch before curling it past the Abahani keeper, only for the shot to strike the crossbar and go over.Ten minutes into the second half, the game became more end-to-end. Isaac had move into a more central role with Thapa taking up his position on the left.

At the other end, Abahani continued to get into promising positions. And in the 65th minute, they did find a way past the Chennaiyin backline and Karanjit. A long ball found Belfort in space, who pulled away from Mailson before placing it out of Karanjit’s reach to make it 1-1. It was the first goal conceded by CFC in their debut AFC Cup campaign in their sixth outing, including the qualifying play-off round.Abahani then went 2-1 up after five minutes, through Masih Saighani’s well-taken free kick from the right. The Afghan defender curled it past Karanjit’s reach, his effort going in off the crossbar.

In response, CFC made their first change of the evening as Thoi Singh replaced Francisco.And the Manipuri winger made an instant impact as he ran on to Mailson Alves’ slightly overhit pass, creating confusion in the Abahani box. Thoi managed to keep his feet before squaring it to Isaac, who kept his calm and slid it in to make it 2-2. A frantic ten minutes seeing three goals scored, with Isaac scoring his first AFC Cup goal of the campaign akin to Vineeth.

Karanjit then made a brilliant save in the 84th minute to keep the scores level. The CFC custodian showing great reflexes to keep out Belfort’s glancing header from close range.Abahani were a threat from long throws all evening. And it was from one such chance they went 3-2 up. The second ball fell to Mamunul Islam, whose half-volley flew into the top corner.After a four-week break, Chennaiyin will take on Minerva Punjab in Guwahati in their penultimate AFC Cup group game on Wednesday 19th June.

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30.04.2019 : CHENNAIYIN FC 1-0 ABAHANI FC - DHAKA (FT.)
CFC : ANIRUDDH THAPA ( 79')
CFC : Karanjeet, Renthlei, Nailson, Nailson, Eli, Jerry, Herojit, Ganesh, Thoi, thapa, Rafi, Jeje.

CHENNAIYIN FC <b><font color=red> 1-0 </b></font> ABAHANI FC - DHAKA
CFC PRESS RELEASE : Chennaiyin FC secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Bangladesh’s Abahani Limited Dhaka in their final 2019 AFC Cup Group E home encounter at The Arena Stadium here today. A deflected goal from Anirudh Thapa in the second half helped CFC bag all three points and consolidate top spot in the group. They are now on seven points after three games; three points clear of Abahani in second. Abahani threw everything at CFC in the closing stages but the hosts held on for a valuable three points. The result also sees Chennaiyin keep three clean sheets in as many games in the AFC Cup group stages.

Chennaiyin will travel to Bangladesh for the reverse fixture in a fortnight on May 15. The group’s other game of matchday two will take place tomorrow Wednesday May 1 between Minerva Punjab, who are on two points and Nepal’s Manang Marshyangdi Club who are yet to open their account. Chennaiyin made one change to the side that beat Nepal’s Manang Marshyangdi Club 2-0 in their previous fixture, with fan-favourite Dhanpal Ganesh replacing Germanpreet Singh in midfield. Experienced 36-year-old frontman Mohammed Rafi made a second consecutive start for CFC, alongside Jeje Lalpekhlua upfront.

Abahani had an early corner in the second minute after Eli Sabia cleared a long ball. Haitian forward Kervens Belfort rose the highest and glanced his header just wide of the post. Few minutes later, Belfort almost took advantage again after miscommunication at the back for CFC, only to bump into keeper Karanjit Singh as the latter cleared.

Chennaiyin slowly grew into the game and had their first big chance in the 20th minute. Anirudh Thapa was fouled in the Abahani box by midfielder Sohel Rana, for which the latter was cautioned. From the resulting set-piece, Thapa found CFC skipper Mailson Alves only for the Brazilian’s looping header to be saved by the keeper’s fingertips.

Chennaiyin were forced into a change on the half-hour mark when Australian midfielder Chris Herd was replaced by Germanpreet Singh, after picking up a knock in a coming together with Abahani striker Sunday Chizoba. Jeje then had a meek attempt five minutes from the break, his shot wayward after some good build-up play between Germanpreet and Thapa.

Abahani had a goal disallowed two minutes later; forward Mohammad Nabib Ziban in an off-side position as he tapped in Masih Saighani’s flick-on. It was an eventful end to the first period as Dhanpal Ganesh’s glancing header from a Jerry Lalrinzuala corner went just wide of the far post in added time. It was a largely disjointed start to the second period from both sides, unable to conjure up anything much of note going forward.

The Bangladeshi visitors were forced into a change when midfielder Mohammad Atiqur Rahman was forced off with an injury, replaced by Mohammad Mamunul Islam. Mamunul interestingly was part of the ATK side that won the inaugural Indian Super League title in 2014. After the hour mark, Ziban drew Karanjit into an easy save from a free-kick after Belfort was fouled by CFC right-back Laldinliana Renthlei.

Few minutes later, CFC made their second change of the evening as forward CK Vineeth replaced Jeje upfront. Mizo man Isaac Vanmalsawma also came on shortly after, for Rafi. Chennaiyin continued to be a threat from set-pieces. corner from Isaac that Mailson again rose highest in the 75th minute, however his header went high above the crossbar.

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03.04.2019: CHENNAIYIN FC 0-0 MINERVA PUNJAB (FT)

CFC : Karanjit, Renthlei, Nailson, Eli, Tondonba, Herojit, Thoi, Raphael, Holicharan, Vineeth, Jeje
MPFC : Arshdeep, Akashdeep, Primus, Kareem, Souvik, Amandeep, Kalif, Al Amna, Chothe, Prabhjot, Samuel
CHENNAIYIN FC  <b><font color=red> 0-0 </b> </font> MINERVA PUNJAB (FT)
CFC Press Release : Chennaiyin FC drew 0-0 with Minerva Punjab in an all-Indian 2019 AFC Cup group stage opener at The Arena Stadium here today. This was both club's maiden appearance in the group stages of the continental competition. It was also Chennaiyin's fourth successive clean sheets in all competitions, in what was an intense encounter.

Head Coach John Gregory made three changes to the CFC starting eleven that beat Mumbai City FC 2-0 in the Hero Super Cup encounter last week. Anirudh Thapa, Isaac Vanmalsawma and Gregory Nelson made way as Thoi Singh, Halicharan Narzary and Raphael Augusto started. Dhanpal Ganesh and Jerry Lalrinzuala began a second successive game from the bench, on their return from injury. For Minerva, all three of their new signings – forward Samuel Lalmuanpuia and defenders Kareem Nurain and Robert Primus started from the outset.

It became a tighter affair as the half progressed. Both sides continued to create inroads but the play in the final third lacked precision as it remained goalless at the break. CFC made their second change of the evening when midfielder Dhanpal Ganesh came on for Thoi. The local Chennai man continuing making his second appearance of the season on his comeback from injury. Minerva made their final change soon after when Thoiba Singh replaced Samuel.

Thapa put in an energetic cameo performance, leading the charge for CFC in the final third. Chennaiyin continued to knock on the Minerva door in the closing minutes with Thapa central to their cause, but the visitors held on as their maiden AFC Cup group stage ended in a goalless stalemate. In the group's other game earlier in the day, Bangladesh's Abahani Limited Dhaka beat Nepal's Manang Marshyangdi 1-0 away from home.

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AFC CUP GROUP-E (FIXTURE)
03.04.2019 : Minerva Punjab India VS India Chennaiyin FC
17.04.2019 : Dhaka Abahani Bangladesh VS India Minerva Punjab
17.04.2019 : Chennaiyin FC India VS Manang Marshyangdi Club Nepal
30.04.2019 : Chennaiyin FC India VS Dhaka Abahani Bangladesh
01.05.2019 : Minerva Punjab India VS Nepal Manang Marshyangdi Club
15.05.2019 : Manang Marshyangdi Club Nepal VS India Minerva Punjab
15.05.2019 : Dhaka Abahani Bangladesh VS Chennaiyin FC India
19.06.2019 : Chennaiyin FC India VS India Minerva Punjab
26.06. 2019 : Minerva Punjab India VS Bangladesh Dhaka Abahani
26.06. 2019 : Manang Marshyangdi Club Nepal VS Chennaiyin FC India