Chennaiyin FC clinched their second Indian Super League (ISL) title with a 3-2 win over Bengaluru FC in the finals at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday night.
The John Gregory coached-side had finished runners-up behind the Blues in the regular season, before going on to beat FC Goa over two legs in the playoffs and emerged victorious over the ISL newcomers in the fourth edition’s final.
Gregory took over at the start of the season, taking over from Marco Materazzi after his three season term ended following a dismal 2016 season, where they finished 7th in the league.
The former Aston Villa manager was ecstatic when he met up with reporters, after coming back to Chennai, bringing with him his first piece of silverware as a coach.
“It’s quite incredible. It has not sunk in yet. If I sit down and watch the recording of the game, probably it will all make sense. When you see the reaction and the happiness the victory has brought to our fans, the game is like that.
“Last season was not good but they have stuck with us. They were waiting for us when we got back at the airport. It was an amazing experience for us. I was not here in 2015. So, they’ve experienced it once already. This is my first time and it is more than what I ever anticipated,” said an ecstatic Gregory.
The game had started well for the homeside as skipper Sunil Chhetri opened the scoring in the 9th minute in front of the boisterous supporters.
Chennaiyin responded well with central defender Mailson Alves equalising with a thumping header just 8 minutes later, before scoring another at the stroke of half-time to turn the tie on its head.
Raphael Augusto curled the ball past Gurpreet into the bottom right corner of the net in the 67th minute, while Miku headed in a consolation from Udanta’s cross in injury time.