It took the home crowd support for the Delhi Dynamos to get rid off the disappointment of their opening round defeat, as they beat Chennaiyin FC by a solitary goal, to record their first win in a closely contested match, of the second season of Indian Super League football tournament. Brazilian Anderson Sebastio Cardoso’s goal from the spot in the 8th minute turned out to be the match-winner as Delhi took full three points in their second match after losing to FC Goa in their campaign opener.
Chennaiyin FC, co- owned by Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan and Indian cricket team ODI and Twenty20 skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the other hand, slumped to their second consecutive defeat after losing 2-3 to defending champions Atletico de Kolkata in their previous match. Cheered by around 20,000 supporters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the Delhi side had more openings and controlled the better part of the match though the Chennai team enjoyed more ball possession. The crowds as matter of fact seemed to have responded to Delhi’s Brazil 2002 World Cup winning coach Roberto Carlos’s fervent plea to come out and support their team in the ISL .
The Marco Materazzi-coached visiting side lacked sting in the attack with Steven Mendoza and Balwant Singh failing to combine together. Jeje Lalpekhlua, who started against ATK, had to miss today’s match as he is doing his national duty, while Fikru Teferra was not a 100 per cent fit and came only for the last 10 minutes of the match.
With Brazilian Gustavo Dos Santos and former France and Chelsea star Florent Malouda making an impact in the match, Delhi did not feel the absence of India striker Robin Singh — away in Turkeministan in national colours — and they had more chances in the match, though Chennaiyin were the better side in the second half.
Delhi took the lead as early as the 8th minute through a penalty converted by Brazilian Cardoso. Cardoso’s Brazilian teammate Gustavo Dos Santos initiated the move as he cut into the Chennaiyin box from the left before releasing the ball for captain Hans Mulder to take a shot, which, however, hit the outsretched hands of Chennai player Manuele Blasi.
The referee promptly pointed to the dreaded spot and Cardoso cooly placed the ball past a diving Chennaiyin goalkeeper Apoula Edel Bete to set off the wild celebrations among the home crowd who had thronged the stadium to root for the home team – Delhi.
Chennaiyin goal came under threat once againt in the 21st minute with Santos, after a one-on-one with Florent Malouda cut into the left side of the visiting team. But, the Brazilian, instead of passing the ball to Richard Gadze, attempted a shot from an acute angle at the near post which was collected by the goalkeeper.