Super Cup: NorthEast cruise past Churchill to book semi-final berth; Mumbai City beat Chennayin FCApril 20, 2023
NorthEast United FC marched into the semi-finals of the Super Cup 2023 after a commanding 6-3 victory over Churchill Brothers in their last Group D match at the EMS Corporation Stadium, on Wednesday.
Colombian striker Wilmar Jordan was the man behind NorthEast United triumph, with four remarkable goals to his name, taking his tally to six so far in the tournament. In Group D, both NorthEast and Mumbai City FC finished with six points each, but the Guwahati side made the grade by virtue of their better head-to-head record.
Mumbai City ended their campaign on a positive note though, despite failing to qualify for the semi-finals, through a 1-0 win over Chennaiyin FC at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri.
In the first semi-final, Jamshedpur FC will play Bengaluru FC on Friday, April 21, followed by NorthEast United’s match against Odisha FC the next day.
The supremacy of NorthEast United was never in question, despite the Goa side having more possession of the ball in the initial stages. Jordan was the Guwahati side’s trump card – his very presence in the forward line created problems for the Churchill defence.
Jordan scored two in the first 45 minutes and added one more within six minutes of the restart to complete his hat-trick.
After surviving three close calls on their goal, Churchill couldn’t hold it anymore beyond the 27th minute. Jordan’s opening goal was a stunner from long range.
In the 43rd minute came the second goal. Nora Fernandes in the Churchill goal had to take the blame for this to some extent as he was hopelessly out of position and Jordan was quick to pounce on the opportunity to score his second goal of the day.
The Colombian completed his hat-trick in the 51st minute. N Tondonba Singh’s perfect cross gave Jordan the simple task of tapping the ball in with a deft touch.
With the score at 3-0, there was a shift in the pace as Churchill scored twice within six minutes, through Kingslee Fernandes in the 54th minute followed by Uruguayan Martin Chaves getting on the scoresheet with a free-kick.
Jordan, however, had other ideas. In the 70th minute, he carried himself through the two centre backs at great speed and found the target with a low drive.
With a lead of 4-2, NorthEast United looked more aggressive and added one more eight minutes later through Gani Nigam. In the 83rd minute, Mohammed Irshad headed home Churchill’s third goal, only for MS Jithin to score once more for NorthEast.
Mumbai beat Chennaiyin
Ayush Chhikara’s 33rd minute strike put Mumbai ahead, as they went on to hold the lead despite repeated second half attempts by Chennaiyin.
This was his first goal for the 2022-23 Indian Super League Shield Winners.
In the 54th minute, Des Buckingham’s men survived a scare when goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz almost put the ball into the back of his own net, after failing to get control of an incoming ball. Chennaiyin continued to launch more ferocious attacks to pressurise the Islanders’ rather shaky defence. On two occasions, Nawaz managed to catch hold of incoming low shots on target as the scoreline remained unchanged.
In the 81st minute, Md Rafique came tantalisingly close to equalising for Chennaiyin. The substitute attacker went for a technically strong volley off a corner, but his strike brushed the wrong side of the crossbar to go wide.