ISL 2018-19: Kerala Blasters and Delhi Dynamos play out an engaging stalemate
ISL
CK Vineeth's first start of the season produced a goal but Kaludjerovic equalised late in the second half....

Kerala Blasters played out a consecutive 1-1 draw in the 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL). This time, the Yellows were held by Delhi Dynamos at home on Saturday.

CK Vineeth (48') broke the deadlock early in the second half but Andrija Kaludjerovic (84') cancelled out the strike late into the game for the visitors.

Vineeth and Naveen Kumar earned their first starts of the season, replacing Matej Poplatnik and Dheeraj Singh from the lineup against Mumbai City

David James chose not to fill the first-team foreign quota for the third straight game as Slavia Stojanovic, Nikola Krcmarevic and Nemanja Lakic-Pesic made the cut in the starting lineup. Sahal Samad started his third straight match in midfield and Slavisa Stojanovic led the attack.

Josep Gombau chose to go with Gianni Zuiverloon in midfield in place of Subham Sarangi. Romeo Fernandes replaced Nandhakumar on the flanks, with Lallianzuala Chhangte, Rene Mihelic and Andrija Kaludjerovic forming the attacking band. 

Kerala Blasters vs Delhi Dynamos ISL 2018-19

The opening exchanges were stuck in midfield, with both teams preferring safe passages of play. The ball was played out wide often by both teams, with Lallianzuala Chhangte and Mohammed Rakip involved in a spirited battle on visitors' left flank. 

Chhangte won the battle in the 24th minute but his cross into the box was headed clear by Lalruatthara. The full-back used his hand to help change the direction of the ball while trying to clear the danger but referee Tejas Nagvenkar failed to spot the handball. 

The hosts were made to wait for their chance but it came through a quick counter-attack in the 35th minute. CK Vineeth charged forward into space down the left flank before releasing Lalruatthara on the overlap. The full-back returned the favour with a cross into the centre but the Keralite went for power rather than precision on his shot and saw his effort blocked. The rebound fell for Stojanovic who could only hit the side-netting. 

With five minutes left for the break, Romeo Fernandes' cross found Zuiverloon's late run into the box but the defender-turned-midfielder placed his effort agonizingly wide.

Kerala Blasters vs Delhi Dynamos ISL 2018-19

Matej Poplatnik replaced Halicharan Narzary after the break, with the hosts in need of firepower.

Kerala Blasters scored three minutes into the second half. Slavisa Stojanovic's corner-kick found Poplatnik whose shot was blocked. CK Vineeth pounced to convert the rebound and give his team the breakthrough. 

The hosts looked much better on the ball after the restart. CK Vineeth spurned a great chance to double the lead in the 63rd minute when Poplatnik's through-ball from a counter-attack allowed the Keralite to dart into space from the left flank. The move came to an end with a tame shot that rolled harmlessly past the goal line. 

Gombau brought on Bikramjit Singh and Adria Carmona midway through the second-half as Delhi Dynamos sought to regain control of a game that was slipping away. 

Kerala Blasters vs Delhi Dynamos ISL 2018-19

Carmona, who impressed with his second-half cameo against ATK, looked to dictate the tempo in the final third. The Kerala Blasters defence, who stood resolute and strong for most of the game, gave away in the 84th minute.

Jhingan's headed clearance from a Delhi corner fell to Chhangte outside the box. His cross from the left flank met Pritam Kotal's head at the far post. The Dynamos skipper nodded the ball back into the centre for Kaludjerovic who headed in the equaliser. 

The referee denied a sure-fire spot-kick for the second time in the game, this time denying the hosts the chance to get back in the lead. Vineeth's chase for a long ball into the box from the right flank was cut short by Pritam Kotal who dived into a tackle but failed to make contact of the ball. 

Kerala Blasters were held at home once again by a second-half goal by their opponents. They will now face Jamshedpur away from home on October 29. 

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