Playing at home on Saturday, Delhi Dynamos came up with a great football performance against the hitherto unbeaten Chennaiyin FC in the Hero Indian Super League. In the process, while Delhi won their first game, Chennai suffered a loss for the first time in the ISL. It was a double delight for the home crowd at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, where they watched a high quality football game that finally ended in an emphatic 4-1 victory for their heroes. For the Chennai team, the result brought disappointment after two back-to-back wins. After a couple of draws, Delhi Dynamos earned their first full points from the match, which also saw tournament’s fastest goal. Two minutes from kick-off, Wim Raymaekers scored the goal from a corner taken by Alesandro Del Piero even as the spectators were settling on their seats in the stadium. The early lead worked wonders as Mads Junker, Bruno Herrero and Dos Santos took turns to score for DD to the utter satisfaction of the holiday crowd. As a matter of fact, even Chennai had an opportunity in the opening minutes to come to level terms but Elano’s shot was brilliantly saved by Delhi goalkeeper Van Hout.
It was a fast-paced game, in which action began instantly. The moment the kick-off was taken, Chennai conceded a corner and the second minute was yet to come to an end. Alesandro Del Piero took a short corner for Delhi and the ball came to Shylo Malswamtluanga, more popularly called Mama. In turn, Mama unselfishly passed the ball to Raymeakers, who unleashed a curling left-footer that sailed straight into the goal. Buoyed by the early goal, DD mounted another attack in the fifth minute but Steven Dias’ shot from a steep angle was saved by the Chennai goalkeeper. Chennai’s marquee player Elano also had an equalizing opportunity in the early minutes, when he almost capitalized on a bad slip by a Delhi defender but the Elano’s attempt was foiled by some good work by the Delhi custodian. Chennai made another attempt, when a free-kick taken by Khabra couldn’t find the target. In the 22nd minute, DD doubled their lead, when the ball came to Steven Dias after another short corner taken by Delhi. Dias was able to send a brilliant cross inside the box, where Mads Junker was getting into a nice position. Before the Chennai goalkeeper could react, Junker produced a flying header that found the target as DD went 2-0 ahead in the game. Even after the 2-0 lead, DD didn’t stop and continued attacking with renewed resolve. For Chennai, it was Elano, who led some promising moves but his attempts either went off the target or the Delhi goalkeeper blocked them. The teams finished the first half with Delhi leading 2-0.
After the break, Chennai made two substitutions. Bojan Djordjic and Balwant Singh were replaced by Jayesh Rane and S. Mendoza. Delhi didn’t make any changes and continued playing in the same attacking fashion. Meanwhile in a counter attack, Chennai’s former PSG player Mendy came close to reducing the deficit but his superb header from Elano’s corner went off target. Delhi too missed some chances, the best of which was a combined move from Hans Mulder and Dias. Mulder’s lob to Dias was perfect but the DD forward was not able to beat the goalkeeper Bracigliano. In the 69th minute, Elano finally reduced the deficit to 2-1, when he sent a curling free kick from 25 yards that completely foxed the Delhi goalkeeper. Earlier in the 63rd minute, Chennai had another golden chance but Delhi goalkeeper denied Mendoza after he had received a nice ball from Rane as a result of some superb work on the left flank. Ten minutes after Elano’s magical free-kick had reduced the margin, DD restored the two goal lead by a penalty. It was a mistake from Khabra that resulted into the spot-kick for Delhi and Bruno Herrero made no mistake to make the score 3-1 in favor of Delhi. The disappointed Chennai had more misery waiting for them, when Dos Santos made a solo run in the 90th minute and finished the proceedings by netting the ball to make it 4-1 for DD. With this victory, Delhi’s standing has gone up to fourth behind Chennaiyin. Northeast united are second and Atletico de Kolkata first.
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