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NorthEast United v Chennaiyin Match Report, 25/02/2020

FT
2 - 2
NEU
CFC
M. Cháves (43 pen)
M. Cháves (71)
Masih Saighani (17)
L. Chhangte (90+3)
Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium
Chennaiyin FC's unbeaten run intact as Lallianzuala Chhangte scores late equaliser
16:00 GMT 25/02/2020
NorthEast United vs Chennaiyin
Martin Chaves' brace in vain as super-sub Chhangte scores in injury time to make it 2-2..

NorthEast United ended their Indian Super League (ISL) season with a 2-2 draw against in-form Chennaiyin FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Tuesday.

Masih Saighani (17') opened the scoring but a brace from Martin Chaves (43' (p), 71') saw the hosts inch closer to their third win of the season. But Lallianzuala Chhangte (90+3') scored late to help his side extend their unbeaten run to nine games.

Both sides fielded heavily-rotated sides with as many as 19 Indian players on the field. Saighani, Jose Leudo and Martin Chaves were the only foreign players to start the game.

The game got off to a shabby start with neither side being able to keep the ball for long periods. Both sides created a few half chances but neither keeper was truly tested until the opening goal.

Saighani was the unlikely scorer of the opening goal that arrived in the 17th minute. A long throw-in from Tondonba Singh was cushioned towards Dhanpal Ganesh by the Afghan midfielder. The NorthEast defenders were unable to clear the danger and the ball landed back at the feet of Saighani, who executed a clean hit to provide his side with the lead.

The hosts were denied a penalty appeal in the very next minute when Edwin Vanspaul appeared to have brought down Lalengmawia inside the area.

However, they were handed an opportunity to pull level from the spot in the 43rd minute when Ninthoiganba Meetei was brought down in the box by Tondonba. The challenge from behind on an advancing Ninthoi who had just received a long ball from Leudo also earned the Chennaiyin defender a sending off.

A cool and composed finish from Chaves saw the Highlanders go into the break without the deficit.

The Uruguayan striker returned to haunt Owen Coyle's side with a neat strike in the 71st minute to make it 2-1. Milan Singh's cross from the right flank was met by Nim Dorjee's intended cushioning touch inside the box. The ball landed for Chaves on the edge of the box who found the back of the net with a spectacular hit on the volley.

While it looked like the hosts were walking away with three points, super-sub Chhangte arrived to disrupt the party in injury time. Germanpreet Singh found the youngster with a threaded pass. Chhangte then unleashed a shot from the edge of the box with his second touch, beating NorthEast custodian Soram Anganba at his near-post.

The draw means that Chennaiyin finished fourth in the table and will face FC Goa in the playoffs. Bengaluru take on ATK in the other tie.