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ISL Results: Chennai close in on semifinals after thumping Mumbai 3-0

Photo Courtesy: ISL's official website
Photo Courtesy: ISL’s official website

Chennaiyin FC were able to get the right result on a wet day at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, easing to a comfortable 3-0 win over Mumbai City FC, and boosting their chances of reaching the semifinals of the 2015 Hero ISL.

Stiven Mendoza opened the scoring early in the game, before Jeje Lalpekhlua and Bernard Mendy both found the nets in the first half to put the game beyond Mumbai City’s reach.

Despite the pitch being a little slow following heavy rains in Chennai, the hosts got off to a flying start, breaking the deadlock in the 9th minute of the game through Mendoza, who has now increased his season tally to 11 goals.

Zakeer Mundampara sent a perfect through ball to Mendoza, who clinically slotted the ball past the Subrata Paul. Before Nicolas Anelka’s side any time to recover, Chennaiyin double their lead after only six minutes through Lalpekhlua.

Thoi Singh’s intended cross seemed to be headed straight to Paul, but the ball stopped dead on its tracks, just in front of the goalkeeper due to the wetness of the pitch. And this allowed the 24-year-old Mizo forward to find the nets with the simplest of tap ins.

Chennaiyin midfielder Raphael Augusto’s evening came to an early end as he had to be replaced by Manuele Blasi following a hamstring injury in the 25th minute.

Mendoza nearly grabbed his second goal of the evening just before the half hour mark, but, this time, Paul came off his lines and made a good block to deny the Colombian.

Moments later, Mendoza, who seemed to be all over the pitch, laid a good ball for Thoi Singh. However, the Manipuri midfielder was unable to keep his composure as he smashed the ball miles off target.

Chennaiyin inflicted more damage on Mumbai as they tripled their lead through Mendy just before the break. Alessandro Potenza picked out Mendoza with a good long pass and the Colombian in turn squared the ball towards Mendy, who found the nets with an excellent chipped effort past Paul.

Four minutes into the second half, Paul made an excellent save to deny a powerful volleyed effort from Lalpekhlua. Moments later, at the other end, Mumbai got a rare chance when Saran Singh’s cross from the right wing found Sony Norde. The Haiti midfielder cut inside and fired an effort which Apoula Edel nearly fumbled, collecting the ball on his second attempt.

The visitors began dominating in the closing stages of the match, but they were unable to find a way through Chennaiyin’s organised defence.

In the 78th minute, Saran’s sent another cross into the box from the right but none of the Mumbai attackers could take advantage. In the end, Norde was able to fire an effort but Edel managed to make a save.

Sunil Chhetri had a chance to score a consolation after he was set up by Norde in injury time, but luck did not seem to favour Mumbai as Indian captain’s effort was only able to rattle the post.

This win means that Chennaiyin have boosted their chances of qualifying for the semifinals, while Mumbai City remain rooted at the bottom of the table.

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