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Indian Super League

ISL 2019-20: Chennaiyin, Odisha FC cancel each other out

11:52 PM GMT+8 28/11/2019
Chennaiyin vs Odisha
Chennaiyin failed to pick up from where they left off...

A second-half goal-fest saw Chennaiyin being held by Odisha FC (2-2) on Thursday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. 

A Xisco Hernandes strike (54') was sandwiched between Nerijus Valskis (51', 71') brace as Chennaiyin looked set to pick up their second win on the trot. However, Aridane Santana struck in the 82nd minute to help Odisha pick up a point. 

John Gregory did not tinker with the winning combination that edged Hyderabad FC 2-1 at the same venue three days ago. Xisco Hernandez and Vinit Rai made the starting line-up for Odisha after sitting out against ATK.

The visitors were dominant in the opening minutes, with Xisco shining in his number 10 role. But some inspiring work between the sticks from Vishal Kaith ensured the Spaniard did not have any impact on the first half of the game, statistically.

One of the best chances of the first half arrived in the 18th minute when Xisco delivered a tasty cross into the six-yard box. Lack of communication between Odisha centre-backs Carlos Delgado and Diawandou Diagne saw Chennaiyin getting a sight at goal. 

The hosts struggled to test Arshdeep Singh at the other end and their best chance arrived through an Edwin Vanspaul volley off Diagne’s failed clearance that whizzed above the cross-bar.

Contrary to how the first half panned out, both teams started the second half with conviction and. Valskis opened the scoring with a simple finish following a textbook team move that saw Rafael Crivellaro, Anirudh Thapa and Thoi Singh combine before the latter cut it back to the Lithuanian who was unmarked.

Odisha replied through Xisco just three minutes later. Nandha Kumar floated a ball to the far-post and Jerry Mawihmingthanga did well to control it and direct the ball towards Xisco who was lurking in the centre of the box. The Spaniard fired it in to make it 1-1.

Valskis completed his brace in the 71st minute when he soared above everyone else to head home Dragos Firtulescu's delivery from the corner.

With just eight minutes left, the marksman at the other end marked his name on the score-sheet with an incredible finish from the edge of the box. Martin Guedes cushioned the ball for Aridane, who took it on the half-volley to send the ball past Vishal Kaith and make it 2-2.

An entertaining second half made up for a pallid first and a draw was a fair result in the tight contest.