ISL Commences :
The 3rd edition of ISL is all set to commence from 1st October. As all the teams gear up with final touches to their preparations, the Sportsrush reviews the chances of these teams. Today, we talk about the defending champions Chennayin FC who look strong but will definitely miss John Stiven Mendoza.
Chennayin FC’s run last season :
Chennayin had a roller coaster run last season. They scripted the perfect rags-to-riches story by jumping from the bottom-most in the table to eventual winners. One of the most key elements to this dramatic turnaround was their ace striker Mendoza. He scored 13 goals and showed relentless persistence during attack.
About striker Mendoza :
Due to his brilliant performances, he has now been deemed indispensable by his New York City franchise. Hence, he misses out this seasons to the dismay of Chennayin supporters. They have brought in the experienced Nigerian Dudu Omagbemi as his replacement.
Chennayin had the worst possible start in the last season. Winning just 3 games out of the first 10, they were virtually knocked out of the competition. However, they rallied back miraculously with 4 straight wins to scrape through to the semi-finals. After shocking champions Athletico de Kolkata, they triumphed over FC Goa in the finals in an amazing battle. It was one of the unlikeliest victories and the best turnarounds ever.
This years’ preparations :
This year, the midfield depends entirely on the performance of the Brazilian Raphael Augusto. With Elano Blumer and Bruno Pelissari not available, one hopes that Augusto will inspire the Indian players in giving their best.
The defence however, looks solid with the inclusion of Premier League legend, John Arne Riise. Add to that the likes of Eder Monterio, Bernard Mendy and local superstar Abhishek Das and we see a strong lineup. Goalkeepers Karanjit Singh and the new signee from Jamaica Duwayne Kerr completes a strong defence.
The champions look all set for an encore. Even though some players are absent from the team, the squad looks settled on paper. Lets hope for another spirited performance from the team this season. The Sportsrush wishes Chennayin FC all the very best!