ISL 2019-20, Highlights, Chennaiyin FC vs NorthEast United FC, Full score: Hosts improve chances of playoff berth with 2-0 win
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Chennaiyin FC will be looking to climb up the table and get closer to the top-four spots with a win against a struggling NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League
Since taking charge, Owen Coyle has led his team to two wins and a draw (seven points) in five matches
NorthEast United are on a poor run of form, having gone without a win for six matches
Preview: Chennaiyin FC will be looking to climb up the table and get closer to the top-four spots with a win against a struggling NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League on Thursday.
Since taking charge, Owen Coyle has led his team to two wins and a draw (seven points) in five matches, which is two points more than what his predecessor managed in six matches. The mini-resurgence has seen them move off the bottom of the table, into the eighth spot with 12 points from 11 games. With a game in hand over most of the other teams, they are still six points behind the final playoff spot, which is currently occupied by Odisha FC.
"We still got a chance of getting to the play-offs, but to do that we have to be consistent by winning games. Three points can be invaluable because more often than not there are a lot of draws in this league and those three points can catapult you up the table," the Chennaiyin head coach said.
NorthEast United are on a poor run of form, having gone without a win for six matches. Despite starting the season reasonably well, Robert Jarni's team has faltered and the lack of goal-scoring threat upfront has affected the recent displays. Marquee signing Asamoah Gyan was ruled out of the ongoing ISL season due to an injury and Jarni will be hoping a mini-revamp in the January transfer window can get their season back on track.
"We lost our opportunity at the beginning of the championship when we lost a couple of matches in the last seconds of the game. We have a very young and promising team. We lost Asamoah Gyan who is not here, we must do without him," Jarni said ahead of the crunch tie.
He added, "We are expecting a very tough game. Chennaiyin, with their new coach, look very good but we also believe in our qualities. We must be in the first four and that's why we are here."
The Highlanders will also miss the services of defensive midfielder Jose Leudo who was sent off in their last outing, a 0-2 defeat away from home at the hands of FC Goa. The game in Chennai is NorthEast United's third of five consecutive away matches and despite having two games in hand compared to the top six teams, the lack of a goal-scoring threat will be Jarni's biggest concern as they look to move closer to the playoff spots.
Despite having only one clean sheet this season, Chennaiyin emerged as 3-1 victors against Hyderabad in their last match and the team's front line looked supremely confident. Nerijus Valskis is back amongst the goals, with seven strikes so far this season. Coyle will be looking to take advantage of NorthEast's lack of confidence and secure full points at home.
Content courtesy: ISL
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Luis Machado (27') opened the scoring for the Highlanders but Rahul Bheke (49') cancelled out his goal after the break to help the Blues salvage a point.
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Jamsehdpur FC coach Owen Coyle doesn't feel his side's recent slump is down to inconsistency and believes they have the character to bounce back at the Tilak Maidan Stadium.