CUTTACK: Chennai City FC lodged their first win of the ongoing 38th edition of the Federation Cup after the Chennai outfit defeated Churchill Brothers 3-1 at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Odisha today.
Despite the win, Chennai City FC bow out of the Federation Cup along with Churchill Brothers, while both Aizawl FC and Kingfisher East Bengal qualify for the semi-finals of the Tournament.
Strikes by Dhanpal Ganes (18’), Edwin Sydney (61’) and Brazilian Charles de Souza (79’) led Chennai City FC to three points, leapfrogging Churchill Brothers to finish the Hero Federation Cup in third place in Group A with three points, after Brandon Fernandes scored from the spot in the 81st minute. Meanwhile, Churchill Brothers find themselves at the bottom of Group A with one point and no wins in three matches.
Both teams played the first half of the game with caution and while Churchill Brothers dominated possession, it was Chennai City FC that attacked the break and scored to lead 1-0 at half-time.
In the 18th minute, Dhanpal Ganesh bombarded into the penalty box after stealing possession and his shot from a tight angle flew past Naveen Kumar into the back of the net to hand Chennai the lead. Brandon Fernandes in the 31st minute rattled the woodwork from a free-kick 25 yards out for Churchill Brothers.
There was even less action in the second half as both Teams cancelled each other out on the midfield tactically. Bright moments came for Chennai City FC in the form of Dhanpal Ganesh who took on more of an attacking role, linking play between the midfield and the final third.
In the 59th minute, Brandon Fernandes took it upon him to score the equaliser but his shot could only crash against the side-netting after he wriggled into the box from the left flank.
Two minutes later Chennai City FC doubled their lead after Edwin Sydney’s shot from inside the box crept into the back of the net leaving Naveen Kumar wrong-footed. Charles de Souza tripled Chennai City’s lead in the 79th minute after his powerful shot crashed into the net leaving the Churchill custodian stunned.
Churchill Brothers were awarded a penalty in the 81st minute and Brandon Fernandes stepped up to finish the spot kick with ease and reduce Churchill’s deficit. However, it was too late for a comeback and the full-time scoreline read 3-1 in favour of Chennai City FC.