Durand Cup 2022: Anirudh Thapa takes Chennaiyin FC to quarterfinals; Rajasthan too make the cut

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Multiple
changes

The
Marina
Machans
made
multiple
changes
to
their
starting
XI
on
Monday
(September
5).
Debjit
Majumder
returned
to
Chennaiyin’s
goal
while
fullback
Ajith
Kumar,
midfielder
Sajal
Bag
and
winger
Ninthoi
Meetei
made
their
way
back
into
the
team.

Centre
back
Fallou
Diagne
also
returned
from
suspension.
Chennaiyin
started
the
game
on
a
positive
note
and
got
their
first
chance
in
the
eighth
minute.
Ninthoi
played
a
nice
ball
to
Petar
Sliskovic
from
the
right
wing.
The
Croatian
striker
tried
to
side-heel
the
ball
into
the
net
but
an
alert
NEROCA
goalkeeper
Soram
Poirei
averted
the
danger.

Morale booster

Morale
booster

But
Poirei
had
no
chance
seven
minutes
later
when
Thapa
scored
a
brilliant
goal.
NEROCA
defender
David
Simbo
failed
to
clear
a
dangerous
ball
that
was
targeted
toward
Sliskovic.
Thapa
followed
the
loose
ball
before
controlling
it
with
a
lovely
first
touch
and
then
unleashing
a
powerful
right
footer
that
got
deflected
for
Chennaiyin’s
first
goal
and
the
skipper’s
second
goal
of
the
tournament.

The
goal
boosted
Chennaiyin’s
confidence
as
they
moved
around
the
ball
comfortably
before
NEROCA
striker
John
Chidi
threatened
to
equalise
in
the
29th
minute.
Chidi
outmuscled
Vafa
and
tried
to
curl
one
in
past
Majumder
but
he
was
off-target.

Thapa the hero

Thapa
the
hero

Chennaiyin
could
have
extended
their
lead
in
the
42nd
minute
through
Julius
Duker
but
Poirei
thwarted
his
intelligent
header
by
tipping
the
ball
over
the
upright.
The
Marina
Machans
sealed
the
match
in
the
71st
minute.

Vafa
found
space
between
Neroca
defenders
and
headed
home
from
a
Thapa
free-kick
from
the
right.
While
it
was
Vafa’s
second
goal
in
the
tournament,
Thapa
made
an
assist
for
the
third
time.
Chennaiyin
defenders
held
firm
for
the
rest
of
the
match
to
ensure
the
win
and
the
team’s
progression
to
the
knockout
stages.

Rajasthan makes it

Rajasthan
makes
it

Earlier,
Rajasthan
United
FC
too
secured
their
Durand
Cup
2022
quarterfinal
berth
with
a
2-0
win
over
Indian
Navy
FT
at
the
Kishore
Bharati
Krirangan
in
Kolkata.
After
73
minutes
of
goalless
action,
Rajasthan
took
the
lead
through
Youssef
Atriss,
who
slid
in
at
the
far
post
to
turn
home
Sergio
Barbosa’s
cross.

Barbosa
himself
then
found
the
back
of
the
net
in
the
88th
minute
after
being
put
through
by
teen
prodigy
Gyamar
Nikum
to
get
the
comfort
goal
as
they
made
it
to
the
round-of-eight
in
the
oldest
football
tournament’s
in
Asia.

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