Chennaiyin FC take on Kerala Blasters and top spot in ISL table

Vastavam web: Chennaiyin FC take on Kerala Blasters in their seventh game of the Indian Super League at the Nehru Stadium here tomorrow, aiming for a fifth win and a top spot in the points table.Former champions Chennaiyin have bounced back strongly after losing the season opener to FC Goa and won three games in a row before being stopped by Mumbai City FC. They are at third spot with 12 points from six matches.Brazilian import Raphael Augusto has been one of the key players for CFC, scoring two goals and has been a driving force in the mid-field.

CFC coach John Gregory has hailed the 26-year-old midfielder and termed him as a ‘fighter’. Augusto’s creativity helped Dhanapal Ganesh and Bikramjit Singh go about their business upfront.Chennaiyin’s ability to grind out results was certainly on show in their late wins against ATK and Bengaluru FC. Even with their backs to the wall, Gregory has moulded them into a never-say-die outfit which keeps going till the end in the quest for points.

“I’ll never be satisfied. I told my players that we should have more points on the board. We’ve messed up a couple of times and I’ve messed up a couple of times but I’m delighted how hard the players have worked in training and matches,” Gregory told reporters ahead of tomorrow’s game.The onus will be on C K Vineeth, who scored the winner against NorthEast United, to provide the spark and pull off a win at the Marina Arena.The Kerala team had a training session this morning ahead of the match and the coach would have had a chat about their low scoring rate.

Coach Mulesteen said they were still developing as a team and it was important to create chances and score goals going forward in the tournament.Clean sheets would still be a high priority for his team which has kept three in five games, he added.However, it would be easier said than done as Chennaiyin are a formidable outfit at home. Gregory’s men have got better with each game and local player Dhanapal Ganesh too seems to have come into his own and scored the winner against Bengaluru FC.Gregory said he would take nothing for granted despite Chennaiyin losing just twice in eight games against the Blasters.