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ISL 4: Last-gasp Dynamos deny Chennaiyin

THE ASIAN AGE. | SRINIVASA N.V
Published : Jan 8, 2018, 2:08 am IST
Updated : Jan 8, 2018, 2:08 am IST

Chennaiyin had the first clear sight of the goal off a set-piece.

Chennaiyin FC’s Jeje Lalpekhlua celebrates after scoring in their ISL match against Delhi Dynamos in Chennai on Sunday. The match ended 2-2.
 Chennaiyin FC’s Jeje Lalpekhlua celebrates after scoring in their ISL match against Delhi Dynamos in Chennai on Sunday. The match ended 2-2.

Chennai: Chennaiyin FC forward Jeje Lalpekhlua celebrated his 27th birthday with a brace but Delhi Dynamos substitute Guyon Fernandez spoiled his party with a late goal in a 2-2 draw in their Indian Super League match here on Sunday.

Conceding the equaliser in the 90th minute would hurt the hosts, who had been the clear favourites for three points against the league’s basement dwellers.

Chennaiyin had the first clear sight of the goal off a set-piece.

Rene Mihelic of Slovenia sent a lofted ball into the box from a free kick and Brazilian defender Mailson Alves planted his header well over the crossbar despite being unmarked.

Delhi, at the end, showed how it should be done as they went ahead in the 24th minute.

The assist came from S. Nanda Kumar, who grew up not far from the stadium. After breaking free from the shackles of Chennaiyin defence, the local boy sent a fine cross for striker David Ngaihte to find the target with an acrobatic header.

As is their wont, Chennaiyin ramped up the intensity towards the end of first half and reaped their reward.

Jeje headed home Mihelic’s free kick to become the club’s leading scorer with 18 goals. Not a bad way to celebrate turning a year older!

While Nanda enjoyed a productive day, D. Ganesh, another local player, endured a forgettable outing in Chennaiyin’s midfield.

He nearly gifted the lead to Delhi before half-time with a poor pass. Chennaiyin custodian Karanjit Singh, however, came to his rescue with a brilliant save to prevent Delhi midfielder Romeo Fernandes from scoring.

Chennaiyin coach John Gregory was missing from the touchline owing to suspension but the side came back roaring after the break under the able stewardship of his assistant, Syed Sabir Pasha.

And, it was Jeje who struck again. After a combination of passes in midfield, the ball fell nicely to the Mizoram forward inside the box and the 27-year-old blasted it into the top right corner.

Just when one thought about the inevitability of a seventh consecutive loss for Delhi, substitute Fernandez earned a point at the death.

After being set up by Kalu Uche, a fellow substitute, the Dutchman tapped the ball in to break Chennaiyin’s heart.

Tags: chennaiyin fc, delhi dynamos