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Chennaiyin FC U-18s make it five wins in a row in U-18 Youth League

The Chennaiyin FC U-18 team ahead of their U-18 Youth League encounter. (Photo courtesy: Chennaiyin FC)
The Chennaiyin FC U-18 team ahead of their U-18 Youth League encounter. Photo courtesy: Chennaiyin FC

The Chennaiyin FC U-18 team beat Football Plus 5-0 to record their fifth consecutive win in the Hero U-18 Youth League at the Chettinad Sarvaloka Education School Ground in Chennai today. With this win, CFC require just one point from their next game against RVSS to win the Chennai zone and qualify for the final round.

CFC had five different scorers to thank for in what was an impressive performance, taking them to 16 points from six games played, seven ahead of Chennai City FC in second place who have played a game less.

The CFC U-18s welcomed back the center back pairing of Saurabh Meher and Mohammed Sarif Khan from suspension, as Selvaniranjan and Paarvin Raj made way. In attack, Vijay Thangavel was replaced by Prasanna Kumar, the latter having netted off the bench in both his previous outings.

CFC began brighter of the two sides and had an opening as early as the sixth minute. The ball fell to the in-form Prasanna, whose first time shot inside the box was saved well by the Football Plus goalkeeper Pradeep Vignesh.

Chennaiyin should have been a goal up in the 13th minute when Sathish Kumar clattered the crossbar with a long range effort. The rebound fell to the onrushing Aman Chetri, who skied his effort over an open goal when it seemed easier to score.

The goalpost came to the hosts’ rescue yet again, as this time Prasanna’s stinging drive from the left flank caught the upright.

CFC eventually took a well-deserved lead on 21 minutes, assisted by a Hendry Antonay free-kick from the left flank. The inviting ball in was headed on target by the diminutive Joysana Singh. The Football Plus goalkeeper managed to get a hand to it, only for the ball to loop into the back of the net.

CFC continued to dominate proceedings and created a number of half chances leading up to the interval. Sathish and Prasanna stood out for them in what was proving to be a one-sided encounter.

CFC began the second period much like they did the first. Sathish and Prasanna had two glorious chances to double the lead, but the finish was lacking.

The relentless CFC pressure paid off past the hour mark, with Prasanna finding the back of the net a third game running. The CFC No. 19 received the ball at the edge of the box and unleashed a low drive out of the keeper’s reach.

Hendry almost made it three to CFC a minute later, his curling free-kick tipped onto the crossbar by the FP custodian. But 2-0 did become 3-0 soon after, as the returning CFC skipper Saurabh Meher stepped up and fired a low free-kick from similar distance, with the keeper standing no chance.

CFC then earned a penalty in the 82nd minute after the FP goalkeeper brought down substitute Sanjay S. who was put in on goal by right-back Harsh Bartwal. Another second-half change in Yunus Shaikh stepped up and converted from the spot to make it 4-0. A couple of minutes later Hendry had his goal, scoring CFC’s fifth with a 35-yard strike that nestled into the bottom corner to the keeper’s right.

Chennaiyin FC U-18s will now face Raman Vijayan Soccer School (RVSS) U-18s in another Hero U-18 Youth League away game on Friday 30th November 2018 at the TAFDC Ground in Oragadam, Chennai, needing just a point to progress to the final round of the competition.

(Chennaiyin FC)