After losing their first two friendlies 3-0 and 1-0 against FC Goa and Mumbai City FC respectively, Chennaiyin City FC finally recorded their first pre-season victory on Sunday with a 2-1 win over Odisha FC in Utorda.
Anirudh Thapa and Rahim Ali scored for the Marina Machans while Odisha’s Marcelinho got the solitary goal for Stuart Baxter’s men in the form of a first half spot-kick. Chennaiyin head coach Csaba Laszlo will be impressed with his side’s performance after an impressive outing from the Rafael Crivellaro captained side. They have their first match on 24th November against Jamshedpur FC and ending the pre-season on a positive note would surely have increased the players’ confidence.
This was Odisha’s second consecutive friendly defeat following on from a closely fought 2-3 loss against Mumbai City FC on November 10th. The side is expected to do much better this season having brought in former South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter and a host of new players, both domestic and foreign. However, they have their work cut out ahead of their opening game of the season against Hyderabad FC on the 23rd.
Although pre-season games help a great deal in building up the right kind of momentum in the side if you’re winning, neither manager would be too worried with defeats in friendlies at this point in time. The players have had very little time to prepare for the season and with the restrictions that they have to operate under, it is obvious that they will need some time to achieve their best shape physically. However, with just four days to go for the start of the tournament, time is in short supply and it remains to be seen which teams come on top from a physical standpoint after the first round of games.