The Nizams appeared in a new avatar in the New Year as they returned to victory …
Hyderabad FC were at their best on Monday night scoring four goals ahead of Chennaiyin to return to victory in the Indian Super League (ISL).
After a five-game unbeaten streak earlier in the season, the Nizams had seen a sudden drop in form as they lost three straight, but they came back in style, confusing the Marina Machans.
Hyderabad and Chennaiyin were both desperate for a win and both teams were expected to try to kill from the start to get all three points. The first half of the game saw action from start to finish. Chennaiyin retained more possession of the ball, but it was Hyderabad who created better scoring opportunities.
The two-time ISL champions were without their skipper Rafael Crivellaro who had to be absent due to an injury he sustained in their last match against ATK Mohun Bagan. In the Brazilian’s absence, Anirudh Thapa was listed as number 10 as Deepak Tangri returned to defensive midfielder alongside Memo Moura.
Thapa did a decent job in his new role but lacked the composure and creativity for which Crivellaro became known. Without their skipper, Chennaiyin sometimes looked like a rudderless ship in the third attacker.
The second half was a lot of fun if you’re not a Chennaiyin fan, as Hyderabad improved their game. After conceding two goals, Marina Machans manager Csaba Laszlo even changed the roster slightly by presenting Edwin Vanspaul in place of Jerry Lalrinzuala and pushing Memo back, making it a three-way defense.
But in a counter move, Marquez brought in Fran Sandaza to replace the tired legs of Joel Chianese, which added further firepower to the attack on Hyderabad. In fact, Sandaza was the key architect of Hyderabad’s fourth goal as it was the Spaniard who made a sweeping run after a counterattack and found Narzary who found the back of the net with a clinical finish. in front of Vishal Kaith.
It was a night to forget for Chennaiyin who has a lot to think about after an embarrassing loss. The team have had problems scoring goals this season, but at least they were creating chances. But without their captain, the team looked a bit offbeat in attack. But it was the defense that let Chennaiyin down. Enes Sipovic, Eli Sabia and Jerry Lalrinzuala were at fault on numerous occasions while Kaith looked fragile on occasion.