Two teams without a single win this season locked horns at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday and ended up playing out the first goalless draw of the season. Despite playing at home, Delhi lacked flair in all three departments and had custodian Dorronsoro to thank for saving their blushes.
The visitors came into the game after an embarrassing display at home against the Highlanders which saw the champions fail to defend a 3-1 lead, eventually losing the match 3-4. They were also in desperate need for a win but failed to take their chances when it was presented to them.
After appointing Josep Gombau as head coach, it was assumed that Delhi adopt a possession-based Spanish style of football. But the display against Chennaiyin FC left much to be desired. The possession statistics did lean towards Delhi marginally but Gombau's men failed to assert themselves and do enough to deserve a win.
Lots of purposeless possession usually ended with the ball finding Lallianzuala Chhangte on the wing. The 21-year-old's crosses were not up to the mark and proved to be dangerous on only one occasion when Andrija Kaludjerovic found himself at the end of it. The Serbian saw his header saved by Karanjit in what was the only test on the night for the Chennaiyin custodian.
Gombau's men had only two shots on target which is not ideal, especially when your forwards have been misfiring in all three games before Tuesday's clash. Moreover, they were playing against a defence which has looked extremely shaky so far.
Delhi Dynamos will have a lot to worry about given that they hardly created a single decent chance in the game. Both Lallianzuala Chhangte and Nandhakumar were largely ineffective while striker Andrija Kaluđerović struggled for service. Interestingly, coach Josep Gombau took off the Serbian striker and sent Adria Carmona instead with Delhi literally playing with no recognized striker for about 17 minutes before introducing Daniel Lalhimpuia.
Chennaiyin FC did have several chances to take the lead, especially in the second half. Most of the chances came from the wings with Isaac Vanmalsawma heavily involved in the build-up. Andrea Orlandi and Carlos Salom were the guilty parties on most occasions while Raphael Augusto and Gregory Nelson were denied by Dorronsoro. In fact, there was no excuse for Salon when he failed to convert a one-on-one situation after being sent clear by Issac.
Isaac's adaptation to his new position and Raphael Augusto's encouraging performance would be some positive takeaways for Gregory's men from the draw. The Chennai midfield was comfortable on the ball and the defence finally kept a cleansheet but the toothless front-line failed to make the most of it.
John Gregory would be encouraged by the performance of his defence and also the fact that they created several goal scoring chances. However, they too need to find a way to pick three points as wastefulness in front of goal certainly cost them. Carlos Salom, the Palestinian forward, missed at least three glorious opportunities and with Jeje Lalpekhlua too not being in good touch, things do a look a bit awkward for Gregory’s team.
Delhi haven’t yet won a single game this season and certainly the onus is now on Gombau to get his team into the groove. Carmona, who is their most creative player, looks fit only to start for the final 30 minutes or so. While their defence would certainly have given him nightmares given the ease with which Chennaiyin FC bombed forward in the second half.