Hyderabad go down fighting to Chennaiyin

Early goal from Shields after a contentious call from the ref decides the game

Hyderabad: Hyderabad FC’s first home game of the 2023-24 season came to a cruel end as Chennaiyin FC ran away 1-0 winners at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Monday, 23 October.

Conor Shields’ 7th-minute goal meant that Hyderabad are yet to get off the mark in the Indian Super League points table and remain 12th after three games.

The return of action at the Maidaan did not go according to the plan for the Nawabs, who went behind early in the game. Petteri Pennanen was hacked down in the attacking third and Owen Coyle’s men made the most of the referees shocking decision to let play run, scoring at the other end.

Hyderabad grew into the game, created plenty of chances, with the likes of Aaren D’Silva, Pennanen, and Joe Knowles came close on a couple of occasions.

Mohammad Yasir was a menace throughout the game while Joao Victor, Sahil Tavora, Nikhil Poojary, and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy played their role to keep Chennaiyin under pressure.

Oswaldo Alanis and Chinglensana Konsham were solid at the back and hardly afforded the visitors a sniff on goal before pushing for an equalizer late in the game.

Gurmeet Singh stood tall when called upon but it was a textbook smash-and-grab from Chennaiyin, who made 30 fouls, saw six yellow cards, and scored from one of their only two shots on target on the night.

Jonathan Moya came on for his debut in Yellow and Black, with the likes of Felipe Amorim, Makan Chothe and Abdul Rabeeh did their bit but Hyderabad failed to find the back of the net and dropped all three points on the night.

HFC are back in action when they travel to Mumbai to take on the Islanders at the Mumbai Football Arena in a 5:30 pm kick-off on Saturday, October 28.

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