Chennai City and Churchill Brothers played out an engaging 2-2 stalemate at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Thursday.
Nestor Gordillo (9') put the hosts into the lead early on but a competitive second-half produced three more goals. Nenad Novakovic (51') and Israil Gurung (58') scored to take the visitors ahead before Sandro Rodriguez (62') netted an equaliser.
The hosts started on the front foot, with Pedro Manzi and Nestor Gordillo looking extremely potent in the attacking third.
Nestor surged down the left flank and crossed the ball low towards Manzi's feet in the sixth minute but the forward missed his shot from close range.
The crossed turned scorer three minutes later. A long ball out to the left flank was brilliantly brought down by the artistic Nestor Gordillo before playing a one-two with Pedro Manzi. He charged into the box with the return pass and slammed home the breakthrough goal.
Khalid Aucho, Dawda Ceesay and Willis Plaza worked hard to create something out of nothing for Churchill Brothers in Chennai City's half as the hosts dealt with the forays well. The visitors grew frustrated as the half progressed and by the end of it, they had committed more than 8 fouls, more than twice the number associated with Akbar Nawas' men.
The Goan club showed intent at the start of the second half and their improved display in the attacking third was rewarded in the 51st minute.
Israil Gurung's corner-kick was aimed at the near post where Nenad Novakovic rose the highest to head home a deserved equaliser.
A goalkeeping howler by Kabir in the Chennai City goal allowed the visitors to take the lead for the first time in the game in the 58th minute. A cross from the right by Clencio Pinto should have been easily claimed by the goalie but Kabir spilled the ball right into the feet of Israil Gurung who slammed home in delight.
Chennai City wasted no time in restoring parity and it only took them four minutes for the hosts to do that. A cross fired into the box from the fight found the feet of Sandro Rodriguez who was being tightly marked. The striker's first brilliant first touch allowed him to turn his marker and slot the ball past a helpless James Kithan.