Chennaiyin FC U-13s humbled by Sudeva FC

The Chennaiyin FC U-13 team suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Delhi’s Sudeva FC in a U-13 National Youth League Group C fixture at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Kriranga (VYBK) Practice Ground here today. The result brought to an end CFC’s nine-match unbeaten run, comprising eight wins and a draw, in what was a learning experience for the U-13 boys against a quality opposition in the form of Sudeva.

Chennaiyin came into this one on the back of a 1-1 draw against Roots Football School in their final round opener at the same venue two days back, making one change by bringing in attack-minded Teejeshwar P. in place of right-back Akash M. It was a big step-up for the CFC U-13s from the challenges they faced in the Chennai zone as well as against Roots in their previous game, as Sudeva had players from all around the country, especially the ones from the north-east causing problems with their pace and movement.

Chennaiyin got off to the worst possible start, conceding the opening goal on 3 minutes. The CFC defence was caught out by a free-kick from Dizianlung Gonmei after a foul at the edge of the box. Sudeva dominated proceedings and it was only a matter of time before the side from Delhi scored their second and third goals through Shubho Paul and R. Lalbiakliana respectively, despite Chennaiyin goalkeeper Amarishwar Reddy’s best efforts.

It could’ve been 4-0 when Sudeva won a penalty shortly after, but Amarishwar made a great save to keep the spot-kick out, keeping the score at 3-0. The Chennaiyin attack found it hard to make inroads in the first period, with Sudeva’s high line catching stikers Mohammed Liyaakath and K. Suriya offside on multiple occasions.

Half-time came as a relief to the CFC boys, who regrouped and came out stronger in the second period, much like they did in the previous game against Roots. Chennaiyin used their physical superiority to good effect and created decent chances. Liyaakath and Teejeshwar went one-on-one with the Sudeva goalkeeper but the goal eluded them.

Rattled by CFC’s comeback, Sudeva started conceding fouls as the game got more physical. It was end-to-end in the closing stages with skipper Rahul K. and Suriya going close for Chennaiyin while Shubho continued to create problems with his pace at the other end.

And with CFC committing men forward, Sudeva scored their fourth through Shubho on one such break in the 66th minute. Chennaiyin finished the game with 10 men as Rahul, who assisted CFC’s equalizer in the previous game against Roots, was sent off for receiving his second yellow card of the game.

This loss will provide vital learning for the U-13 boys who hadn’t tasted defeat before this. They play their last group match against SAI Kolkata, who beat Roots 5-1 in the group’s other fixture, on Thursday May 3 at 4 PM at the same venue.

Score: Chennaiyin FC U-13s 0 lost to Sudeva FC 4 (Dizianlung Gonmei 3’; Shubho Paul 14’, 66’; R. Lalbiakliana 21’)