AFC Cup: Chennaiyin cruises to a win

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Herd and Alves score against Manang Marshyangdi

Two goals in as many minutes did the trick for Chennaiyin FC as it cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over Manang Marshyangdi in its AFC Cup group stage clash here at The Arena by TransStadia on Wednesday.

Chris Herd’s first goal for the side and a towering Mailson Alves header earned Chennaiyin the win and propelled the side to the top of Group E with four points from two games. Abahani Dhaka — also on four points — sits in the second spot after it drew 2-2 with Minerva Punjab earlier in the day.

The home side was firmly in control of the opening half and it was one-way traffic as Chennaiyin pressed hard and high, offering Manang Marshyangdi little to no room.

With over 70 percent of possession, John Gregory’s men found the cracks in the opposition defence, floated the crosses into the box, but failed to convert.

The opposition was forced to merely clear the ball and managed to enter the Chennaiyin box only twice, failing to trouble the goalkeeper on either occasion.

Mohammed Rafi had a couple of fine chances to open the scoring, but his haste first-time attempts let him down. After an agonising opening 45, Rafi — making his first start of the season — would make amends in the second half as he set up Herd for the first goal.

He played a lovely one-two with Herd and the Australian’s powerful drive took a heavy deflection and sailed into the goal in the 51st minute. The home team would find the back of the net soon after as Mailson Alves soared high to nod in Anirudh Thapa’s corner less than two minutes later.

The result: Chennaiyin 2 (Chris Herd 51, Mailson Alves, 53) bt Manang Marshyangdi 0.

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