Chennai, October 14, 2019: Chennaiyin FC cruised to a 4-0 victory over I-League side Real Kashmir FC in their final pre-season friendly here today. Romanian winger Dragos Firtulescu scored a goal in each half, with two other foreign signings Andre Schembri and Rafael Crivellaro also getting on the scoresheet. CFC enjoyed a perfect run out ahead of their Hero Indian Super League opener against FC Goa just less than ten days away.
Dhanpal Ganesh started alongside Afghan midfielder Masih Saighani in midfield, with Thoi Singh and Dragos on the wings, as Brazilian Rafael supported Schembri who started up top.
CFC began brightly, moving the ball along the surface with efficiency amidst humid conditions. They took the lead just after the opening ten minutes from a delightful Dragos free-kick. The Romanian was felled just outside the box on the left flank, he stepped up himself and curled it into the top corner out of the RKFC keeper’s reach.
Chennaiyin added a second in as many minutes, this time Dragos turning provider. Dhanpal Ganesh won the ball in the middle with a crunching header, finding the new CFC No. 10 in space. He looked up and slid in the perfect through ball for Andre Schembri, the Maltese taking a touch before firing it low past the keeper to make it 2-0.
CFC were 3-0 up before the half-hour mark, as RKFC found it difficult to make inroads at the other end. Rafael Crivellaro got into the act, receiving the ball outside the box, waltzing past a couple of defenders before fizzing it into the roof of the net with aplomb.
Real Kashmir did come close with a couple of shots from distance, but that was all they could conjure up in the first half.
Chennaiyin rung in the changes across the park as the second period commenced. Reamsochung Aimol particularly impressed on the right flank, as CFC continued in search of a fourth goal. It did come past the hour mark, as the tireless Edwin Vanspaul found space on the right and sent a cut-back for Dragos in the box. The latter skipped past a defender and finished low from an acute angle to make it 4-0.
Vishal Kaith in the CFC goal kept a valuable clean sheet as Chennaiyin wrapped up an impressive performance ahead of a testing tie against FC Goa away from home in their Hero ISL opener on Wednesday 23rd October 2019.
Chennaiyin FC 4 (Dragos Firtulescu (2), Andre Schembri, Rafael Crivellaro) beat Real Kashmir FC 0