10-man Chennaiyin FC Under-18s came from behind to beat Chennai City FC 3-2 in an AIFF Under-18 Youth League fixture at the ChettinadSarvaloka Education School Ground here today. Trailing 2-0 at the break after having lost captain Saurabh Meher to an early sending off, CFC mounted an impressive second-half comeback courtesy goals from Joy Kumar, Prasanna Kumar and Vijay Thangavel to notch their third consecutive win of the season.
CFC made three changes to the side that romped FC Madras 9-0 in their previous outing last month. Hendry Antonay, KartikNayyar and Yunus Shaikh came in for Ajin Tom, Sathish Kumar and Selvaniranjan.
Chennaiyin enjoyed majority of the possession in the opening stages. Mohammed Sarif Khan and AmanChetri had half chances for them as opponents CCFC came close to scoring with an effort that clattered the CFC crossbar.
The hosts then took the lead in the 8th minute after Sarif fouled an opponent just outside the CFC box. Syed Taha stepped up for the hosts and scored from a straightforward attempt, which CFC goalkeeper LourdhuDivyanathan failed to parry away.
Minutes later CFC skipper Saurabh Meher was shown a straight red for dissent, following an exchange of words with the linesman. But despite going a man down, Chennaiyin continued to create chances and had two gilt-edged chances to draw level.
The first of the chances fell to forward Vijay Thangavel, who was put through by Aman following a raking cross-field pass by Sarif. The CFC No. 23 dwelled too long on the ball before firing over. His strike-partner Aman then missed from point-blank range a few minutes later after some good work by Joysana Singh in the build-up.
CCFC then doubled their lead much against the run of play. CFC lost the ball in midfield and were caught out on the break with Vineeth Kumar scoring for the hosts.
CFC continued to knock on the CCFC door looking to pull one back. Joysana drew a good save out of the opposition keeper with a close-range header from Ajith’s cross as CFC went into the break trailing 2-0.
Chennaiyin finally found their scoring touch after the restart, pulling one back just before the hour mark. A Harsh Bartwal free-kick from the right fell to second-half substitute Joy Kumar, whose fierce strike went in off the upright.
CFC drew level soon after, with another second-half change Prasanna Kumar finding the back of the net. The CFC No. 19 turned and arrowed his shot into the bottom corner after receiving the ball from a long throw-in by Sarif.
Sarif was involved yet again as CFC completed the second-half turnaround. The Manipur boy’s inch-perfect long pass putVijay in on goal, who was left with just the CCFC keeper to beat. He made no mistake as he took a touch and kept it low to put his side 3-2 up.
10-men CFC U-18s held on to see it through to the final whistle, capping off an impressive second-half display.
The CFC U-18s take on Chennai City FC in the reverse fixture at the SSN College Ground on Tuesday 20th November at 3:30 PM.
SCORE: Chennai City FC U-18s 2 (Syed Taha 8’, Vineeth Kumar 33’) lost to Chennaiyin FC U-18s 3 (Joy Kumar 58’, Prasanna Kumar 63’,VijayThangavel 73’)