Chennaiyin FC rode on two brilliant strikes from Rafael Crivellaro and Nerijus Valskis to script a commanding 2-0 win over NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) in an Indian Super League match here on Thursday.
Missing quite a few really good opportunities to score in the first session, it felt as if Chennaiyin would go on to rue those chances later given the way the league has panned out for the host.
The second session, however, effectively belied it.
Known for his vision, lone-range and rapier-like passes, Crivellaro, the 30-year-old midfielder, this time, produced a blinder.
Picking the ball from just a few metres away from the half-way line, the dual-passport holder (Brazil & Italy) used his left-foot to unleash a shot that was less about power and more about timing and placement which left the keeper Subhashish Roy completely surprised.
A couple of minutes later, Andre Schembri, who was guilty of wasting chances upfront, came up with a strong curving shot that was saved by the keeper.
But it was the result of poor defending by Heerings Kai that was the reason for Chennaiyins second goal. Instead of clearing the ball, Heerings feeble pass went straight to Valskis whose stinging left-foot shot found the target like a rocket.
In fact, Chennaiyin continued in the same vein raiding a hapless NEUFC defence umpteen number of times only to miss by a whisker.
Earlier, NEUFC had a good chance in the very first minute when Andrew Keogh of Ireland (playing in his first ISL match) shot feebly after receiving a pass from Martin Chaves. That was arguably the only notable opportunity for the visitor. From there on, it was Chennaiyin all the way.
Chennaiyin played an attractive brand of football especially in the first 15-odd minutes. Its passing and understanding between the midfield and front-line resulted in quite a few eye-catching moves.
Chennaiyin increased its points tally to 15 points from 12 matches and went up two places to sixth place while NEUFC remains on 11 points from 11 ties and is in ninth position.
The result: Chennaiyin FC 2 (Rafael Crivellaro 57, Nerijus Valskis 59) bt NEUFC 0.