There was no separating the two sides ultimately as the Indian Super League (ISL) clash between the Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin at the national capital finished in a 1-1 draw. Kalu Uche had given Delhi the lead from the spot in the 59th minute before Mailson Alves grabbed a late equaliser (81') for the visitors.
Miguel Angel Portugal made three changes to the Dynamos starting XI with the injured Pritam Kotal replaced by Dayananda Moirangtem while Mohammad Dhot came in for the suspended Pratik Choudhary in central defence. Vinit Rai meanwhile, came in for Seityasen Singh.
John Gregory meanwhile made just two changes to the side which started against Bengaluru with one of them being a forced one. Jaime Gavilan came in for the suspended skipper Henrique Sereno who saw red in the last match while Keenan Almeida replaced Anirudh Thapa.
The lively Lallianzuala Chhangte set up a chance for the home side as early as the seventh minute after a bursting run into the box from the left flank before squaring up Paulinho Dias but the Brazilian’s effort went wide off the mark as the opportunity went begging.
The young winger sent in another dangerous cross from the left moment later but Kalu Uche failed to get his head on the ball. Meanwhile at the other end, Chennaiyin were slowly growing into the game as they took control of the possession. Timothy Lugun almost the ball into the back of his own net after a dangerous cross from Gregory Nelson but Dynamos’ custodian Xavier Iruetaguena was alert enough to make a diving save.
Both sides threatened in turns as the first period wore on and it was the visitors who came closest to scoring right at the stroke of half-time. A through ball from Gavilson found Nelson unmarked inside the box with only Xabier to beat but the attacker failed to keep his effort on target as the ball went over the crossbar.
The second half started in the same fashion as the first had ended with Nelson once again finding himself in the thick of things. An awful goal-kick from Xabier landed at the feet of the Dutchman ultimately but his left-footed effort sailed above the crossbar once again to let Delhi off the hook.
The visitors had another gilt-edged chance minutes later after an excellent cut-back from left-back Jerry Lalrinzuala put the ball on the plate for Gavilan but his effort was saved by the legs of a diving Xabier before Gabriel Cichero put the ball out of danger.
At the other end, the home side was awarded a penalty after Raphael Augusto was adjudged to have brought down Matias Mirabhe inside the box. Kalu Uche stepped up from the spot and sent Karanjit Singh the wrong way to register his sixth goal of the season and put Delhi ahead.
Gregory’s men upped the ante after falling behind as they drove forward in numbers. Their appeals for a penalty of their own when Francis Fernandes went down in the box were denied before the home side almost gifted them the equalizer through a silly error. Rowilson Rodrigues’ header back to his keeper was short and almost fell to Jeje Lalpekhua but Xabier was quick off his line to avert the danger.
Chennaiyin substitute Rene Milehij came close when he brought down Augusto’s floated cross inside the box but Lugun put in an excellent block to keep Delhi’s lead intact. The visitors ultimately got their equalizer in the 81st minute when Mailson Alves rose above Xabier to nod in Milehic’s dangerous free-kick into the back of the net.
Both sides went for the jugular in the dying minutes as Portugal threw on new signing Manuel Arana but neither were able to find a winner as the match finished at 1-1.
The draw keeps Chennaiyin one point behind Jamshedpur FC in fourth place while Dynmoas stay dead last with only eight points from their 13 games.