Talking Points #HFCCFC

Indian Super League, Round 15

Hyderabad FC registered their first double over a club in the Indian Super League after a victory against Chennaiyin FC on Sunday. Here are a few talking points from the game that brought us a crucial win after four consecutive draws.

Back to winning ways

After a series of four successive draws, Hyderabad FC are back to winning ways after goals from Fran Sandaza and Joel Chianese in either half sealed the game against Csaba Lazlo’s side and pushed us to the third spot in the Indian Super League table. Despite Chennai’s several attempts, Hyderabad looked stronger as they constantly threatened in the final third and converted their chances on Sunday.

This game also marked our third clean sheet in five games which inspires confidence in our backline. With the business end of the league coming up, Hyderabad will aim to stay on the same winning track to secure a spot in the playoffs.

Hectic but productive January

With seven matches in January, Manolo’s men had a packed and challenging month of football with very less recovery time after each game. The players showed a dominating mindset as they cruised unbeaten through the month after their only stretch of losses this season which includes the three games before New Year.

Collecting their first double over an Indian Super League club, Hyderabad incidentally started and ended the month with important victories against Chennaiyin FC. While the wins against Chennai and NorthEast United at the start of the month helped cement our position in the top 4, the draws showcased our strong character, especially in the stalemate against league leaders Mumbai City and then in late comeback to win a point against Bengaluru FC.

Converting chances

Scoring two goals from their only two attempts on target, Hyderabad FC looked more clinical as they were able to overcome their struggles with missed opportunities and converted chances effectively on Sunday. Getting his first start for the club, Fran Sandaza displayed his experience as he made no mistake in slotting the ball into the goal after receiving a sublime through ball from Joao Victor.

Another excellent pass from the Brazilian midfielder found Joel Chianese in the second half and the attacker found the corner of the net with ease despite having a narrow target to aim at. With a week-long break ahead of their next game, Manolo’s side will look to strengthen their all-round game and finish the season on a high.

Impactful substitutes

Within the first 15 minutes of the second half, Manolo Marquez made three substitutions which saw Halicharan Narzary come in place of Liston Colaco, Chianese for Sandaza and Roland Alberg in place of Hitesh Sharma. The fourth substitution came just after the hour mark when Sahil Tavora replaced Mohammad Yasir in the middle. These substitutions rapidly changed the look of Hyderabad’s attack and midfield in the second half and momentarily pushed them to the backfoot.

However, the substitutes adapted to the game quickly and contributed in every aspect by holding off Chennai’s threats and regulating the ball in the attacking third to add pressure on the CFC backline. With one goalscorer replacing the other, Chianese consolidated our victory late in the game and helped establish Hyderabad FC as the club with most goal contributions from substitutes this season.

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