Delhi Dynamos played some wonderful football to pick up three points in their first Indian Super League 2016 match as they defeated defending champions Chennaiyin FC 3-1 at Chennai's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday. Marcelinho's brace and Badara Badji's headed goal proved to be enough as Dudu Omagbemi scored the solitary goal for the home team.
Chennaiyin FC started on a bright note with Baljit Sahni testing Delhi's goalkeeper. Most of the attacks came from the left flank. The first ten minutes were all Chennaiyin FC, but it was Delhi's Richard Gadze, who found the back of the net first, only to be cancelled immediately as he was flagged offside.
Despite good possession by the home team, they went down 0-1 as Delhi earned a penalty after Milan Singh went down inside the box. Marcelinho converted the spot kick in the 26th minute to take lead.
Just when Delhi were looking composed at the back, Chennaiyin got back into the game as Dudu Omagbemi scored past the goalkeeper in the 32nd minute. However, Delhi did not take much time to regain lead as Marcelinho scored a stunning goal in the 34th minute. It was a brilliant finish from the Brazilian, who scored a crisp goal, which also caught the goalkeeper by surprise. One also needs to credit Gadze for the brilliant assist.
Delhi resembled a threatening side thereafter. Chennaiyin were under pressure, and Mendy failed to control the ball, providing an easy chance for Kean Lewis to help his team take 3-1 lead. He only had to beat the goalkeeper, but hit it wide.
With Chennaiyin 1-2 down, experienced players like Jeje Lalpekhlua and John Arne Riise had to inspire their team. They enjoyed good possession in the second half, still could not find the equaliser in the first ten minutes. The home side were applying huge pressure on Delhi's players, who were not getting to see much of the ball.
But, as the second 45 minutes progressed, Delhi settled and looked comfortable, passing the ball around with purpose, and playing some patient football, searching for their third goal for that two goal cushion.
With 20 minutes left to play, Chennaiyin went all out, brining on Davide Succi, hoping to score the equaliser. But the game was more or less put to bed by Delhi, with big striker Badji scoring a good header into the back of the net after meeting Lewis' cross in the 84th minute. Even after that lead, Delhi were looking dangerous to score their fourth of the night.
What impressed most about Delhi was the way the new players gelled together as a unit, and the energy the visitors showed on the pitch was truly commendable. On the other hand, the defending champions are still searching for their first three points of the season.