CHENNAI: Goals from skipper Anirudh Thapa, Rahim Ali Kwame Karikari and Sajal Bag powered Chennaiyin FC to an action-packed 4-3 victory against NorthEast United FC in their final league game of the Indian Super League 2022-23 season at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Friday.
Rahim Ali (3rd), Kwame Karikari (56th), Anirudh Thapa (62nd) and Sajal Bag (90+4th) were on target for the hosts while Wilmar Jordan (51st and 80th), Parthib Gogoi (74th) scored for the Highlanders.
Chennaiyin, who came into the game on the back of two consecutive victories started the game on the front foot and took the lead after just 3 minutes when Julius Duker’s incisive pass over the top was slotted home calmly by Rahim Ali. The hosts then controlled the entire first half and went into the break leading the score-line.
Six minutes after halftime, the visitors equalized against the run of play through a goal from Wilmar Jordan. The Marina Machans, however, kept pushing to restore their lead with their attacking surges and were rewarded in the 56th minute when the in-form Karikari scored off the rebound from Edwin Vanspaul’s long-range effort.
Captain Thapa then extended his side’s lead after a stunning strike on his left foot following a cross-field ball from Ninthoinganba Meetei.
NorthEast United found themselves back in the game after Parthib Gogoi scored a thumping goal from distance in the 74th minute and Wilmar Jordan struck his second of the game after netting a simple tap-in from close range in the 80th minute.
Right when it seemed like the game will finish in a draw, Abdenasser El Khayati played a smart pass following a defensive error from the opponents to 19-year-old Sajal Bag who smashed the ball in the back of the net to secure a monumental victory for Chennaiyin.
With this emphatic victory in front of their home fans, Chennaiyin FC capped off the Indian Super League 2022-23 season finishing in eight positions in the table with 27 points. (ANI)