Defending champions Chennaiyin FC broke their Guwahati jinx with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over NorthEast United FC in an absorbing Indian Super League clash at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.
Chennaiyin FC were the only team to neither score a goal in Guwahati nor secure a point at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium during the previous seasons of the ISL.
Chennaiyin FC had also never defeated NorthEast United in four attempts, losing three of them.
The defending champions, however, made everyone sit up and take notice with just one magical moment. It was provided by Davide Succi whose 49th minute winner was the difference between the two sides.
The win helped Chennaiyin FC jump to third place on the points table with seven points from four matches. Despite the loss, NorthEast are perched at the top of the table. That could change if Mumbai City FC, Delhi Dynamos and Atletico de Kolkata win their respective matches.
After a barren first session where Chennaiyin held the upper hand and created better chances, Italian Succi struck a magical winner in the 49th minute.
A cross from Siam Hangal seemed like any other delivery inside the box but what followed left everyone dazed as Succi connected with a first-time side volley. The ball flew like a rocket and goalkeeper Subrata Paul could do nothing despite getting his hand to the ball.
Prior to kick-off, coach Marco Materazzi's decision to leave marquee player John Arne Riise on the bench was the major talking point.
Bernard Mendy returned at the back to captain the side and he Riise's absence was not felt. His fine tackle to deny Emiliano Alfaro inside the danger zone was the best moments of the night.
Described by many as one of the best teams in the league, Nelo Vingada's NorthEast side couldn't dictate terms during most parts of the match, and even though they had their chances to take something out of it, striker Alfaro lacked the cutting edge upfront.
Feature image source: ISL