4/17/2019 8:09:21 PM (GMT+3)

AFC Cup: Chennaiyin FC pick up maiden win

AFC Cup: Chennaiyin FC pick up maiden win

AHMEDABAD, India: Chennaiyin FC secured their first-ever AFC Cup group stage win when they defeated Nepal’s Manang Marshyangdi Club 2-0 here on Wednesday.

Second-half goals from Chris Herd and Mailson Alves proved the difference as Chennaiyin went top of Group E ahead of Bangladesh’s Abahani Limited Dhaka on goal difference, after the latter’s 2-2 draw with Minerva Punjab earlier in the day.

With Chennaiyin playing their sixth game in 20 days, coach John Gregory made five changes to the starting eleven from the Super Cup final defeat.

Mohammed Rafi made his first start of the season, with Jeje Lalpekhlua also returning to the forward line. Germanpreet Singh, Chris Herd and Thoi Singh came into midfield, with Herd having missed the final through suspension.

After a subdued start from both sides, Chennaiyin won a corner in the fifth minute after Laldinliana Renthlei’s hopeful cross was turned away by the Manang keeper. Jeje almost scored from it after Eli Sabia’s mistimed shot found him in the box, but his snapshot deflected just wide.

CFC continued to keep hold of the ball, having spent majority of the first quarter of the game in the Manang box. Rafi then had a half-chance when his shot looped past the far post, after he was found in the box by Renthlei’s low cross.