I-League 2019-20: Injury-time Winner from Jan Muzangu Helps Chennai City FC Rise to Fifth
Margao: Defending champions Chennai City FC rise to fifth on the I-league 2019-20 points table, courtesy an injury-time winner from Swiss recruit Jan Muzangu at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday.
The game looked like it would finish goalless till the 84th minute but the last 10 minutes, saw the match turn on its head with all three goals coming in that period.
Katsumi Yusa gave the champions the lead against the run of play in the 85th minute, which was neutralised two minutes later by Mizo striker Lalkhawpuimawia's third of the season. Muzangu then put it beyond the hosts, with his first goal of the I-League season in the additional time.
The win took Chennai to 14 points from 10 games while Churchill Brothers are on seventh with 13 points from nine matches.
Churchill had an early sight at goal in the 2nd minute of the game through a Dawda Cessay free-kick, which could not find a good connection. Chennai were slowly beginning to find their feet in the game with a Muzangu run in the 20th minute being dangerously penetrative.
Although Churchill had the better chances, just before the end of the first half, it were the visitors who came close with Spanish striker Fito Miranda curling one in with the left from yet another free-kick, but was unlucky to hit the side-netting.
Chennai had the lion's share of possession but the home side had more shots on target at the half-way stage.
Churchill's Trinidadian striker Willis Plaza, subdued in the first half, got the first good chance of the second, as Portuguese Socrates Pedro played him inside the box in the 49th minute but his chip over the keeper was clipped by Santana's outstretched palm before Eslava cleared for safety.
Cessay also had a crack four minutes later and in the 63rd minute and Plaza again hit the cross-bar with a header as the home side was clearly displaying urgency for a winner. Coach Tavarez expectedly threw in the likes of Israel Gurung and Mapuia to help out the trio of Cessay, Pedro and Plaza up front in their pursuit of a winner.
With the clock showing 85 minutes, Fito put in a delectable ball from just inside the Churchill half and found the run of Katsumi to perfection. The gutsy Japanese made no mistake with a clinical finish past Kithana as Chennai went 1-0 up.
Churchill struck back two minutes later. Glan Martins found Plaza inside the box, who squared it to Ponif Vaz over on the right flank. Ponif's cross saw Mapuia rise above his marker to lob a header over Santana and into the Chennai goal.
However, in the third minute of injury time, Vijay played Muzangu through and the latter raced inside the box, getting past one defender and away from another, to slot it past Kithan.