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ISL: Punjab FC registers first win, defeats Chennaiyin FC

Madih Talal's lone goal proved the difference as Punjab FC registered their first-ever win in the Indian Super League.

ISL: Punjab FC registers first win, defeats Chennaiyin FC

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 19 Dec 2023 3:20 AM GMT

Madih Talal’s inspired performance and a second-half goal helped Punjab Football Club secure their first-ever win in the Indian Super League 2023-24 season as they beat Chennaiyin FC 1-0 in a Round 11 match played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The home side dominated the match from start to beginning and deservedly secured the three points. They have jumped to tenth in the table with the win while Chennaiyin remains in sixth.

Punjab FC Head Coach Staikos Vergetis made two changes to the starting lineup with Amarjit Singh Kiyam coming in for the suspended Nikhil Prabu and Samuel Kynshi Lyngdoh in place of Krishnananda Singh.

Chennaiyin FC Head Coach Owen Coyle lined up his team in a 4-4-2 position with the attacking trio of Jordan Murray, Connor Shields, and Rafael Crivellaro leading the line. Former Punjab FC youth product Bikash Yumnam started in the heart of defence along with their captain Ryan Edwards.

PFC were looking confident in the initial exchanges of the match controlling the possession and troubling the away side’s defence. The home side made multiple attempts inside the box which was crowded by Chennaiyin FC who scrambled to avoid conceding.

Madih Talal, Amarjit, and Samuel Kynshi’s attempts were well blocked by the defence. Chennaiyin on the other end was relying on counterattacks and almost snatched the lead against the run of play. Jordan Murray squared an inch-perfect cross across the six-yard box but his strike partner Connor Shields could not put the finishing touches. Madih Talal could not convert a one-on chance with the keeper as Debjit Majumder saved his first shot and the header of the rebound from the French midfielder was cleared off the line by Sarthak Golui.

Madih Talal created a moment of magic in the 35th minute inside the Chennaiyin box. PFC kept the ball off a free kick and Suresh Meitei found Talal inside the box who received the ball on his chest. The midfielder then controlled the ball and attempted an audacious bicycle kick that beat Debjit Majumder but came back off the crossbar

PFC started the second half with the same momentum as they ended the first with Madih Talal leading the attack. PFC deservedly took the lead in the 56th minute through Madih Talal who drove with the ball inside the area shrugging off the challenge from Jiteshwor Singh and striking a powerful shot that rifled past the Chennaiyin keeper into the net.

Owen Coyle immediately made three changes introducing Christian Battocchio, Irfan Yadwad, and Vincy Barreto to shore up the attack. But it was PFC who were still in control with the home side dominating with a flurry of attacks but could not find the second goal with Debjit Majumder making some crucial saves.

Substitutes Juan Mera and Wilmar Jordan joined the attack as both players had their attempts blocked, the former ones by his same player. Wilmar Jordan was excellent with his hold-up play and could have finished the game but missed two chances, one a free header of a corner and the other a one-on-one chance that was hit straight at the keeper. Jordan Murray did find the net in the injury time but he had fouled PFC keeper Kiran Kumar Limbu in the process. PFC saw off the rest of the game to secure their first win in ISL.

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