Hyderabad FC’s all-Indian contingent create ISL record with win over Chennaiyin

Young Nawabs become first ISL side to win a league game with all-Indian contingent

Hyderabad: After a series of tough results in the Indian Super League, Hyderabad FC finally registered an ISL record breaking, first league win of the season, on Saturday,

Sajad Parray’s late goal helped them to a 1-0 win against Chennaiyin FC, in what was a historic night for the Yellow and Black.

Hyderabad travelled to Chennai with an all-Indian squad of players, given Joao Victor’s one-game suspension.

The Nawabs also had an all-Indian support staff, all of whom had plenty to celebrate, on the Marina Coast.

Head Coach Thangboi Singto, assistant coaches Shameel Chembakath and Renjith TA were all jubilant for the young kids, whose hard work finally turned into 3 crucial points.

Laxmikant Kattimani, the skipper on the night, registered his first clean sheet in six appearances, and the club’s first this ISL season.

He has his centre-back pairing of Alex Saji and Muhammed Rafi to thank for their valiant effort in Chennai.

Abdul Rabeeh, who hit the crossbar on the night and Mark Zothanpuia, who was unlucky to miss out on this big night have stepped up this season.

The duo came up from the reserve side, waited for their chances in the first team and are currently among the longest-serving players at the club.

However, Hyderabad also fielded a host of young and inexperienced players all around the field against a seasoned team in Chennaiyin.

Though they are in their first season of wearing the Yellow and Black, players like Lalchhanhima Sailo, Makan Chothe, Ramhlunchhunga, and Sajad Parray are seen stepping up and working as seniors in the squad.

Youngsters Joseph Sunny, Abijith PA and Jeremy Zohminghlua have all graduated from the reserves.

But their performances showed that they are now integral to the first team this season and beyond.

Aron Vanlalrinchhana, Rashid Madambillath and Amon Lepcha have come off the bench and impressed in their time at the club so far.

All these players who have stepped up during a tough season will claim a stake in the senior side going ahead.

The hard work of the youngsters has now given Hyderabad as many points in the last two games as they collected for the 17, before their trip to Chennai.

This opportunity that the young Nawabs have made the most of also reflects in the fact that Hyderabad are now the club to offer most minutes to development players in the ISL this season.

This not only re-emphasises the club’s philosophy since its inception but also paves way for an exciting future.

The result this young all-Indian squad achieved in Chennai is an ISL record. It is the first such feat in the league.

To add to it, Hyderabad also travelled with an all-Indian support staff, making this a massive win for everyone who has been with the club in what has been a tough season.

Seeing a travelling Hyderabadi fan base that added great strength on and off the field during this tough season, was especially heartening and encouraging.

The Chennaiyin FC crowd were also appreciative of what was a monumental achievement in the top flight of Indian football.

It was an unforgettable night for the Yellow and Black, not just for the result achieved but for the promise of these youngsters that the future of the club is in safe hands.

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