Bengaluru, October 2: Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC (CFC) beat Odisha FC 5-1 in a pre-season friendly at the SRMC Ground in Chennai on Saturday (October 1).
Skipper Anirudh Thapa, Rahim Ali, Petar Sliskovic, Kwame Karikari and Suhail Pasha scored a goal each for CFC while Odisha FC's lone goal came from Diego Mauricio's strike
The match comes in the light of CFC's preparations for the ISL 2022-23 season which begins on Friday (October 7).
The Marina Machans will open their ISL 2022-23 campaign with an away game in Kolkata against ATK Mohun Bagan in their first game of the campaign (October 10).
CFC then return home for two back-to-back games against Bengaluru FC and FC Goa (October 14 and 21).
The club coached by Thomas Brdaric and led by the mercurual Thapa had started their preparations early in August, taking on Kolkata's Kidderpore SC (5-1) before playing out a draw against Army Green (1-1) prior to the Durand Cup.
In the Durand Cup 2022, the Marina Machans began their campaign with a nail-biting 2-2 draw over Army Red before going down 3-1 against last season's ISL winners Hyderabad FC.
With two must wins, the team bounced back defeating TRAU 4-1 before sealing the quarterfinal berth by defeating NEROCA FC 2-0.
However, the team were unable to continue their campaign further, going down to Mumbai City FC in an eight-goal thriller.
Speaking about the team's preparations ahead of the upcoming season, Brdaric said that the team is gearing up and will use the friendly fixture against Odisha to their advantage and get ready for their first competitive fixture against ATK Mohun Bagan.
"We're still in preparational time, this week we've been working more physically and in the next week we look to work more on the tactics.
"In general, we're now in a completely different shape from the time we started training and I'm able to expect much more from the players and the game against Odisha was good for the team to put up a performance and get competitive before the first match of the season."