John Gregory made five changes to the Chennaiyin lineup that lost to Jamshedpur in their last match. Sanjiban Ghosh, Laldinliana Renthlei, Thoi Singh, Isaac Vanmalsawma and Andrea Orlandi replaced Karanjit Singh, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Gregory Nelson and Francis Fernandes.
Kerala skipper Sandesh Jhingan, who gave away a penalty in the dying moments of the match against NorthEast United, was relegated to the bench and Anas Edathodika took his place. David James made two other changes. Mohammad Rakip and Zakeer Mundampara replaced Prasanth K and Seiminlen Doungel.
The Super Machans showed intent right from the beginning of the first half, created a flurry of chances throughout the match but were unable to convert any of them.
The home side could have been in front within three minutes as Raphael Augusto fed Isaac Vanmalsawma with a brilliant low cross but the Indian failed to tap the ball into the net and instead shot wide.
Kerala Blasters failed to make an impact in the first half as Chennaiyin custodian Sanjiban Ghosh remained untested. The four midfielders fielded by David James looked clueless as to their roles and there was true width on offer, making it easier for their opponents.
Thoi Singh registered a 'miss of the season' contender when he missed the goal from handshaking distance from Jeje Lalpekhlua’s cross into the box. He missed another sitter within three minutes from the restart. Raphael Augusto's solo run and cross fed the ball on a plate for the Indian forward but he failed to hit the target.
The visitors were dealt with a blow at the hour mark when Krcmarevic had to leave the field with a groin injury. Seiminlen Doungel was brought on and made an instant impact by hitting the post. Poplatnik forwarded a through ball for the substitute who entered the box from the right side and struck the sidebar.
The reigning champions were once again punished for bad misses in front of goal. They moved up to the eighth position overtaking FC Pune City as they now have five points from nine matches. Kerala, on the other hand, remained seventh with eight points from nine matches.