The Face-Off #HFCCFC

Indian Super League, Round 15

Hyderabad FC host Chennaiyin FC in an early game on Sunday as Manolo Marquez’s side aim for a positive result to break the streak of draws. Ahead of the game, we take a look at the squads, the opponents, the key men and more…


Round 9: Hyderabad FC 4-1 Chennaiyin FC (Chianese 50’; Narzary 53’, 79’; Joao Victor 74’ | Thapa 67’)

Jan 4, GMC Stadium, Bambolim

Hyderabad FC started the New Year with a 4-1 win over Chennaiyin FC in their ninth game of the ISL 2020-21 season. Coming into the game after three consecutive losses, Manolo’s men showed great character as they dominated the game and emerged victorious due to noteworthy goals from Joel Chianese, Joao Victor and a remarkable brace from Halicharan Narzary.

The game saw no goals in the first half, but Hyderabad had plenty of chances, which they finally managed to convert, after the break. This remains the best performance in terms of goals, for HFC in a single half.


Chennaiyin FC have had a share of mixed results throughout the season but are still going strong in the race to the playoffs as they sit just three points away from a spot in the top 4. Since the sides last met,  the Marina Machans have signed Manuel Lanzarote as a replacement for club captain Rafael Crivellaro, who has been ruled out until the end of the season due to an ankle injury.

Following a resilient, late comeback that resulted in the side holding Bengaluru FC to a draw after being 2-0 down, Hyderabad FC will come into the game with a sense of optimism and confidence. Despite the display of determination that saved Manolo’s side from dropping points, Hyderabad are still looking for a victory to secure their position in the top 4 as other teams are inching closer in the business end of the tournament.

Key Men

Esmael Goncalves (CFC)

With 4 goals and 1 assist to his name, the Portuguese forward has shown dependability by stepping up to score for his side on important occasions. Having scored the equalizer against table toppers, Mumbai City FC, Esmael will enter the game with a confident and commanding mindset. His versatility on the field, control over the ball and strong physique could make his clash with the Hyderabad backline one to watch out for.

Eli Sabia (CFC)

In absence of Enes Sipovic, his partner in defence, Eli Sabia will have to take up the responsibility of keeping Chennaiyin FC’s goal away from danger. The Brazilian has played in every game for the visitors so far this season and will not be easy to beat for the likes of Aridane and Chianese in this game.

Lallianzuala Chhangte (CFC)

The 23-year-old left-winger has shown consistent improvement and continued to impress throughout the season at CFC. Chhangte could trouble the Hyderabad backline and midfield with his blistering pace, precise positioning and direct shots on goal.

Aridane Santana (HFC)

Kickstarting the side’s comeback against BFC on Thursday, Aridane played true to his skipper duties and showed inspired leadership throughout the game. The Spaniard’s precision in positioning, aerial prowess in the attacking third and instrumental contribution in defence could make him an all-round threat to Csaba Laszlo’s men on Sunday.

Odei Onaindia (HFC)

Hyderabad FC’s wall, Onaindia has been a great leader in the back for throughout the season. His crucial clearances, aerial interceptions during set-pieces, ability to read the opponent’s movement and quick distribution of the ball will enable him to keep Chennaiyin’s attacking threats at bay.

Akash Mishra (HFC)

With darting runs in the front and timely clearances at the back, the 19-year-old defender consistently puts in tireless effort on the left flank. Mishra’s speedy movements, inch-perfect deliveries and disciplined tackles could create problems for CFC all around the pitch.

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