Coimbatore, October 26: Riding on a hat-rick from Pedro Manzi Chennai City FC were off to a winning start in I League as they defeated Indian Arrows 4 -1 in the lung opener at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Romario Jesuraj, who had an outstanding game, scored the fourth. Indian Arrows captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam, however, opened the scoring with a second-minute strike to give the young side an early lead.
Riding on a blistering hat-trick from Pedro Manzi on his @ILeagueOfficial debut, @ChennaiCityFC kick-off their campaign with a whopping 4-1 victory over Indian Arrows.— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) October 26, 2018
CCFC 4-1 ARW#CCFCARW #HeroILeague #ILeagueIConquer pic.twitter.com/bfE5qo3kSG
Chennai's Singaporean coach Akbar Nawas opted to go with Manzi as the sole striker with wingers Nestor from Spain and Jesuraj assisting him. Another Spaniard, Sandro operated in the middle of the attack. Gaurav Bora was in the defensive midfield role just ahead of a three-man back line.
Indian Arrows started positively when Chennai City goalkeeper Kabir failed to grab Rahul KP's cross through the right wing. Amarjith Singh was on right place at right time to make most of it.
But the nerves didn't affect the Chennai City players for a long time as they fought back with an equalizer from Manzi. The half time score read 1-1 with both the team fighting to get control of the game.
Chennai started strong in the second half. It didn't take a lot of time for the Manzi to score his second goal to give Chennai a 2-1 lead.
The Uruguay-born striker went on to complete his hat-rick with a spot kick as the scoreline read 3-1. Romario added spice to the game by scoring fourth and final goal of the game.
"I didn't expect such a performance from myself obviously. But I'm happy that I did now," said Manzi, the Hero of the match.
"I do what my coach tells me to do. I don't try anything extra. We play as team," he added.
Indian Arrows coach Floyd Pinto acknowledged the quality of the foreign recruits of CCFC.
"We were in the game till 2-1. Obviously the quality of the foreigners in CCFC were great. The difference between us and CCFC were their foreigners. We played with intensity throughout the 90' mins. We look forward to improve ourselves in the coming game," Pinto said.