New Delhi: Delhi Dynamos finally added goals to its package of high-energy attacking football as it registered a convincing 4-1 win over Chennaiyin FC in the Hero Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday.
Many within the Dynamos camp, including manager Harm van Veldhoven, had spoken of the need to overwhelm the opponents in the first 20-25 minutes.
The plan was to take an early lead, sit back and hit the opposition on the counter.
Considering the host was two goals up within the first 21 minutes, the plan was executed well. Chennaiyin’s poor set-piece defending strengthened Dynamos’ prospects.
The first goal, in truth, was down to a corner routine that caught the visitor out. Alessandro del Piero played a short pass to Shylo Malsawmtluanga, who instantly picked out Wim Raymaekers on the edge of the box. A first-time left-footed shot was deposited into the top corner and Dynamos was 1-0 up in the very first minute.
The host’s pace and energy constantly troubled Chennaiyin; poor decisions by the defenders only exacerbated the situation. In fact, it was a poor move that led to Dynamos’ second goal. Del Piero’s corner was inadequately cleared and Steven Dias, who was picked ahead of Francis Fernandes, found the ball on the right. While the Indian winger’s cross was inch-perfect, the Chennaiyin defensive line surprisingly chose to move forward. Mads Junker’s run was perfectly timed to head the ball home.
Despite the two-goal deficit, Chennaiyin manager Marco Materazzi couldn’t be blamed for a lack of ideas.
He first changed his team’s shape to a fluid 4-3-3 before deciding to go for 4-4-2 at half-time. Dynamos, expectedly, sat back and allowed Chennayin to enjoy the greater share of possession.
In the visitor’s 4-3-3, Elano Blumer moved forward and occasionally was the most advanced player in the final third. After the interval, John Stiven Mendoza Valencia’s introduction meant he partnered Elano as a striker. Balwant Singh’s replacement Jayesh Rane and Bruno Pelissari took the wide positions.
It was a radically attacking set-up, something one wouldn’t naturally associate with Materazzi. It could have produced the desired results if Chennaiyin had found a penetrative through ball constantly enough.
When a pass finally breached the Dynamos defence, Valencia’s shot was spectacularly saved by Kristof van Hout. Chennaiyin found a way back into the game in the 69th minute, though, as Elano immaculately dispatched a free kick home from around 25 yards.
The visitors grew increasingly threatening but a Dynamos move on the counter in the 78th minute effectively killed the contest. Steven Dias broke through on the right and found Shylo free in the box. Harmanjot Khabra, though, felled him instantly and Bruno Arias dispatched the subsequent penalty.
Dynamos’ advantage received further gloss in injury-time as Gustavo dos Santos ran past a couple of defenders before shooting from the edge of the box. The shot was deflected home and the rout was complete.
The result: Delhi Dynamos 4 (Wim Raymaekers 1, Mads Junker 21, Bruno Arias 79-pen, Gustavo dos Santos 90+3) bt Chennaiyin FC 1 (Elano Blumer 69).