Jeje’s brace seals 3 points for Chennai despite ATK’s fightback

Jeje Lalpekhlua, ATK, Chennaiyan FC, Chennai, Kolkata, ISL, Football, India, Zequinha, Inigo Calderon, Njazi Kuqi
Jeje's brace seals 3 points for Chennai despite ATK's fightback

In a battle of halves, where first half accounted for nought while the second saw goal-rush, Chennaiyan FC settled late surge from the defending champions to beat ATK 3-2 at home in ISL.

The hosts were forced to make one change to the side that beat Pune in the last game, handing Jaime Gavilan — who assisted skipper Henrique Sereno for the solitary goal — his first start of the campaign in place of in-form Raphael Augusto who was surprisingly not even in the 18-man squad, while ATK ringed in three changes otherwise. Debjit Majumdar returned under the bar in place of Jussi Jaaskelainen while Rupert Nongrum replaced the injured Eugeneson Lyngdoh in midfield.

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After observing one minute’s silence, to mourn the death of one of the ground staff, the game kicked off and both the teams cleared off some early game rushed by building half chances across the ends but none could break the deadlock.

Indian emerging sensation Jeje Lalpekhlua broke the deadlock in the 65th minute to give Chennai the lead before the goal-fest began. It took Zequinha 12 minutes to equalise for ATK. Inigo Calderon then scored in the 84th minute to reclaim the lead. This time though the lead lasted for even less time. ATK’s Finnish striker Njazi Kuqi scored in the 89th minute to make it all square.

Just when it seemed like both sides would settle for 1 point each, Jeje broke the hearts of ATK’s fans. ATK keeper Debjit’s clearance was not as strong as required and it felt to Jeje who rifled home the winner in the injury time to seal all three points.
It was third win of the tournament for Chennai in 4 matches, a run that saw them top the standings with 9 points. ATK are languishing on the bottom with 2 draws and 2 losses in 4 matches.


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