2020-21 Indian Super League, Regular Season
  • Francisco Sandaza (28')
  • Joel Chianese (82')

ISL 2020-21: Clinical Hyderabad punish wasteful Chennaiyin to go third

Hyderabad's Joel Chianese celebrates with teammates after scoring against Chennaiyin. Arjun Singh/ Sportzpics for ISL

Goals from Francesco Sandaza (28') Joel Chianese (82') in either half helped Hyderabad FC climb up to third in the Indian Super League table with a 2-0 win over Chennaiyin FC on Sunday.

While Chennaiyin created several more chances than their opponents, particularly in the second half, they lacked the finishing touch, managing to get just one out of their 12 efforts on target, while hitting the crossbar twice. In contrast, Hyderabad's two goals came from their only two attempts on target.

ISL home | Fixtures | Scores | Table | Stats | Transfers

The win took Hyderabad to 22 points, 8 points behind leaders Mumbai, while Chennaiyin remain sixth, with 16 points from 15 games.

Hyderabad made their intentions clear right from the start, winning a corner in just the fifth minute. The promising Asish Rai, who has enjoyed something of a breakthrough season, was the architect of the move, sprinting into the Chennaiyin box and finding Mohammed Yasir. After the latter's cross was put behind for a corner, Rai got another chance but sent his cross over.

Hyderabad kept attacking in the first quarter and got their reward just before the half-hour mark when Sandaza broke the deadlock. After receiving the ball from a throw-in, the Spaniard found Joao Victor, who returned the favour with an excellent through ball. Sandaza was still under pressure from Deepak Tangri but shook off the defender by shifting the ball onto his other foot and slotting it into the net.

Chennaiyin had a period of possession after the goal but poor passing in the final third meant nothing came of it. As the first half came to a close, Sandaza's goal was the only shot on target from either team.

Chennaiyin came out of the half-time break with a couple of changes - Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev and Edwin Vanspaul came on for Germanpreet Singh and Thoi Singh - and the move looked to have paid off. Eli Sabia came up all the way from defence and found himself with a direct sight on goal. His powerful shot from outside the box looked to be going in, but instead struck the crossbar and bounced away.

- Indian Super League: Stream LIVE on ESPN+ (U.S. only)

The crossbar once again came to Hyderabad's rescue and this time, it was substitute Fatkhulloev's turn to rue what should have been a goal.

Hyderabad looked resigned to sitting back and defending as Chennaiyin went from being having less of the ball in the first half to dominating possession in the second. However, their lack of creativity and wastefulness in front of goal was on show once again - with ten minutes left in the game, they managed just a single shot on goal.

They soon paid for that when Hyderabad put the game beyond all doubt with a second goal. Chianese, who had replaced goalscorer Sandaza early in the second half, was played through by another excellent pass from Victor. Chianese had only a narrow target to aim at but he found the back of the net with ease.

Hyderabad next face NorthEast United FC on February 7, while Chennaiyin are up Bengaluru FC on February 5.