Second half goals by Fito (48') and Katsumi Yusa (60') have helped Chennai City to the third spot after a 2-0 win over Indian Arrows at the Cooperage ground in Mumbai, on Friday.
Chennai City now have 19 points from 14 games while the Arrows, void of relegation, are rooted to the bottom eight points from as many games.
Shanmugam Venkatesh made as many as five changes after the solitary goal defeat against Real Kashmir as Samik Mitra, Vikram Singh, Suranjit Singh, Rohit Danu and Lalchhanhima Sailo made it to the first 11.
For the visitors, Akbar Nawas made the lone change to bring in Jockson Dhas in place of Rohit Mirza from the side that drew 1-1 against Aizawl last weekend.
Yusa delivered a few dangerous lobs in the Arrows box in the intial minutes and the only notable shot at goal in the opening 20 minutes was recorded by the Japanese although hit straight at Mitra from a tight angle.
Off a free-kick from the edge of the box, Givson Singh's shot came off the wall for a second attempt that was followed by a goalmouth meelee before Bikash Yumnam eventually ballooned his effort wide in the 24th minute.
Dhas forced Mitra to palm out a shot from distance in the 44th minute but the best chance befell the Arrows just before the before the break when Nikhil Raj was denied from close range by Nauzet Santana after a brilliant piece of craftmanship by Vikram.
Almost as seemlessly as Fito stole the ball from an opponent, the Brazilian calmly placed the ball at the bottom left corner to hand his side the lead in the 48th minute.
By the hour mark, Chennai City doubled their lead from a counter move that ended with Dhas' diagonal cross for Yusa to put past Mitra.
Vikram had a sort of a half chance from a long diagonal ball in the 68th minute but was well marshalled by Mashoor Shereef other than an attempt by Danu from inside the box blocked by Santana in the 75th minute.
It could have been 3-0 but if it hadn't been for Mitra parrying away a well-struck free-kick by Yusa in the final 10 minutes of regulation time.