Former ISL champions Chennaiyin FC cruised to a 4-0 victory over I-League side Real Kashmir FC in their final pre-season friendly today. Romanian winger Dragos Firtulescu scored a goal in each half, with two other foreign signings Andre Schembri and Rafael Crivellaro also getting on the scoresheet. CFC enjoyed a perfect run out ahead of their Indian Super League opener against FC Goa just less than ten days away.
Dhanpal Ganesh started alongside Afghan midfielder Masih Saighani in midfield, with Thoi Singh and Dragos on the wings, as Brazilian Rafael supported Schembri who started up top.
Chennaiyin FC began brightly, moving the ball along the surface with efficiency amidst humid conditions. They took the lead just after the opening ten minutes from a delightful Dragos free-kick. The Romanian was felled just outside the box on the left flank, he stepped up himself and curled it into the top corner out of the Real Kashmir FC keeper’s reach.
Chennaiyin FC added a second in as many minutes, this time Dragos turning provider. Dhanpal Ganesh won the ball in the middle with a crunching header, finding the new Chennaiyin FC No. 10 in space. He looked up and slid in the perfect through ball for Andre Schembri, the Maltese taking a touch before firing it low past the keeper to make it 2-0.
Chennaiyin FC were 3-0 up before the half-hour mark, as Real Kashmir FC found it difficult to make inroads at the other end. Rafael Crivellaro got into the act, receiving the ball outside the box, waltzing past a couple of defenders before fizzing it into the roof of the net with aplomb.
Real Kashmir FC did come close with a couple of shots from distance, but that was all they could conjure up in the first half.
Chennaiyin FC rung in the changes across the park as the second period commenced. Reamsochung Aimol particularly impressed on the right flank, as Chennaiyin FC continued in search of a fourth goal. It did come past the hour mark, as the tireless Edwin Vanspaul found space on the right and sent a cut-back for Dragos in the box. The latter skipped past a defender and finished low from an acute angle to make it 4-0.
Vishal Kaith in the Chennaiyin FC goal kept a valuable clean sheet as Chennaiyin FC wrapped up an impressive performance ahead of a testing tie against FC Goa away from home in their ISL opener on Wednesday, October 23.