Saturday, Sep 22, 2018 | Last Update : 03:31 PM IST

ISL 4: Chennaiyin, Jamshedpur remain in play-offs race

THE ASIAN AGE. | SRINIVASA N.V
Published : Feb 19, 2018, 12:50 am IST
Updated : Feb 19, 2018, 12:51 am IST

Both teams were off to a slow start, with neither managing to hold on to the ball.

Jamshedpur FC’s Farukh Choudhary (right) vies for the ball with Mailson Alves of Chennaiyin FC in an ISL match in Chennai on Sunday. (Photo: N. Vajiravelu)
 Jamshedpur FC’s Farukh Choudhary (right) vies for the ball with Mailson Alves of Chennaiyin FC in an ISL match in Chennai on Sunday. (Photo: N. Vajiravelu)

Chennai: Chennaiyin FC kept their play-offs hopes alive in the Indian Super League with a late equaliser from substitute Mohammed Rafi against Jamshedpur FC at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday. Rafi cancelled out Wellington Priori’s sumptuous first-half strike in the 1-1 draw to help Chennaiyin retain third place on the table.

The absence of midfielder D. Ganesh and Gregory Nelson gave opportunities to Germanpreet Singh and Spain’s Jaime Gavilan to get into Chennaiyin’s starting XI.

Both teams were off to a slow start, with neither managing to hold on to the ball.

Gavilan and Raphael Augusto were calling the shots in midfield but the home side clearly lacked thrust in the final third. Striker Jeje Lalpekhlua was yet again not in his groove.

After an uneventful 20 minutes, the visitors had the first real chance when Jerry Mawihmingthanga dispossessed CFC left-back Jerry Lalrinzuala to float a cross into the centre.

Striker Farukh Choudhary wasted the great opening by heading wastefully wide.

The breakthrough came for Jamshedpur close to the half-hour mark through Wellington Priori.

A free-kick which was sent into the box wasn’t cleared well enough by the Chennaiyin defence and the Brazilian blasted a stunning right-footed volley from just outside the box for one of the goals of the season.

One hour into the match, the hosts were yet to test Jamshedpur goalkeeper Subrata Paul with forward Jeje ambling around listlessly. JFC’s Cameroonian centre-back Andre Bikey was insurmountable as he put his towering physique to great use.

In the second period, Jamshedpur were happy to let Chennaiyin dictate play as they enjoyed a major share of possession but were getting nowhere close to goal.

The list of yellow cards for Chennaiyin increased by two as both centre-backs, Henrique Sereno and Mailson Alves, were booked for indiscipline, taking the team’s tally to 40 for the season.

 Alves will miss the next match against Kerala Blasters.

Chennaiyin had to find an equaliser to stay in the play-off race.

Motivated by the 13,000-odd supporters, the home team found what they wanted off a corner in the 89th minute.

Both of Chennaiyin’s substitutes came into play with Rafi heading home Slovenian Rene Mehelic’s inch-perfect ball.

Tags: chennaiyin fc, indian super league