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May 24, 2019
Ahmedabad, March 14 (IANS) A second-half goal by Jeje Lalpekhlua helped Chennaiyin FC beat Colombo FC 1-0 in the 2019 AFC Cup qualifying play-off second leg, becoming the first Indian Super League (ISL) outfit to move to the AFC Cup group stage.
Lalpekhlua scored the only goal of the game in the 68th minute.
Chennaiyin kicked off with a wonderful start against the Sri Lankan side, securing a couple of corners in the opening minutes and restricting the Colombo side to their own half.
The first half of the do or die match for Chennaiyin was eventless, with one player from each sides being booked by the referee.
After over an hour of goalless match, with Chennaiyin constantly knocking the Colombo home for the elusive goal, the Indian club got it’s moment in the 68th minute, courtesy a clipped ball into the box by left-back Tondonba Singh.
The ball ricocheted off a Colombo defender and fell for Lalpekhlua, whose left-footed strike hit the back of the net, registering the club’s first goal in the AFC Cup. Chennaiyin will now be grouped along with South Asian clubs Minerva Punjab FC (India), Nepal’s Manang Marshyangdi Club and Bangladesh’s Abahani Limited Dhaka in Group E of the 2019 AFC Cup.