Rafi’s late header secures Chennaiyin a point against Jamshedpur

Chennaiyin FC shared the spoils with Jamshedpur FC in a 1 – 1 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 on Sunday. Wellington Priori’s stunning volley in the first half was cancelled out by Mohammed Rafi’s looping header a minute from time.

The match was even-paced to begin with as both the teams were content to play the ball in the midfield without creating any clear-cut chances. Raphael Augusto had a go at goal in the 16th minute, but his shot from outside the box missed the target.

Ten minutes later Jamshedpur missed a glorious opportunity. Jerry Mawihmingthanga played in a delightful ball from the right flank, but with the entire goal at his mercy, Farukh Choudhary somehow missed a free header.

But the visitors got the lead two minutes after the half-hour mark. Following a melee from a free-kick, a headed clearance from Inigo Calderon fell straight for Priori. The Brazilian struck a sweet first-time volley from just outside the box that found the bottom corner, taking custodian Karanjit Singh by surprise. The strike also marked the 200th Hero ISL goal of the season.

That was the last bit of action from the half as Jamshedpur went into the break sporting the one-goal advantage.

Eleven minutes after the restart, Jaime Gavilan floated in a ball from a free kick to find Mailson Alves in the box. The defender tried to flick the ball in with the back of his head, but his effort went over the bar. The 69th minute saw substitute Rene Mihelic chip a pass to Jeje Lalpekhlua, who flashed his shot across the face of goal with no one to tap the ball in.

Two minutes from time, Chennaiyin equalised as their two substitutes combined. Mihelic took a corner and with custodian Subrata Paul caught in no-man’s land, Rafi’s looping header nestled in the top corner.

Two minutes into injury time, Priori drilled in a shot from outside the box, but keeper Karanjit Singh got down quickly to push the ball away for a corner. Chennaiyin also had a glorious chance when Mihelic’s free-kick found an unguarded Henrique Sereno free in front of goal, but the home team’s skipper failed to get the all-important touch.

That was the last chance of reckoning as both the teams maintained their positions on the table with the draw, keeping the battle of the remaining three playoff spots still wide open.

MATCH AWARDS

Club Award: Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC

Swift Limitless Player: Mohammed Rafi

DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Jerry Mawihmingthanga

Amul Fittest Player: Inigo Calderon

Emerging Player: Farukh Choudhary

Hero of the Match: Wellington Priori

Watch the match highlights here:

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