Aizwal, Nov 16: Chennai City FC extended their lead at the top of the I-League standings, getting their fourth win as Sandro Rodriguez's two second-half strikes helped them beat hosts Aizawl FC 2-1 here on Friday. Chennai now has 13 points from five games, seven points clear of second-placed East Bengal and third-placed Churchill Brothers.
Aizawl, who won the I-League two seasons ago, find themselves at the bottom of the table with three losses and two draws from their five games so far.
The hosts began confidently enough and pressed high from the word go. They even created two chances in the first quarter of an hour, but Leonce Dodoz, guilty of many misses on the day, muffed both of them.
After a goalless first half, Aizawl began on the front foot and Kromah's head from close in the 48th minute, saw a reflex save from Kabir, who also had a brilliant game to be awarded the Hero of the Match.
In the very next minute, Duata gave away a needless foul in a dangerous position outside the Aizawl box. He was made to pay as Sandro struck his second brilliant free-kick of the league to beat Lawmpuia all ends and put Chennai in the lead.
Aizawl tried to get back into the game immediately but failed.
In the 72nd minute, Isak put in an excellent cross from the right flank, which beat the Chennai defence to land at Dodoz's feet. The Beninese fumbled, and the ball after hitting Kabir fell to Kromah on the rebound, who tapped in for the easiest of goals.
But there is a reason why Chennai are sitting pretty at the top of the table, and their Spanish recruit was to deliver again when it mattered most.
In the 77th minute, Romario Jesuraj made one of his runs down the right flank and cut inside the box to cross across the face of goal. Sandro on the far left, came up with a classy first-time connection, this time with his left foot, to send the ball crashing into the back of the net.