Chennaiyin, Bengaluru share spoils after hard-fought tactical battle

A closely-contested Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 Southern Derby between Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC ended goalless at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. It was the first time a clash between the two Southern rivals ended without a clear-cut winner in the history of the Hero ISL.

For Chennaiyin, the result will go down as a missed opportunity to cut down their deficit with fourth placed Mumbai City FC to just two points. Bengaluru, too, will be disappointed with the draw considering it was a big blow to their ambitions to finish at the top of the table.

  • Both sides took a measured approach in the first half and went into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
  • Bengaluru’s Semboi Haokip hit the post in around the 80-minute mark.
  • Chennaiyin’s Thoi Singh was sent off in the 88th minute.

Bengaluru started the match with Sunil Chhetri on the bench as Dimas Delgado led out the away team in his 50th Hero ISL appearance. It was a tight start to the match, with both teams keeping their shape and exercising caution. After a closely contested opening 15 minutes, Bengaluru started creating a few openings and put the Chennaiyin defence under a bit of pressure.

Chennaiyin created a good opportunity at the half hour mark. Rafael Crivellaro set up a shooting opportunity for Lallianzuala Chhangte with a clever pass but the Indian winger blasted his attempt over. Nerijus Valskis had an opening in the 40th minute and managed to divert his header towards the Chennaiyin goal but Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was vigilant enough to make the save.

The first half ended with neither team managing to disturb the scoreboard.

Five minutes into the restart, Valskis took a crack at the Bengaluru goal from range but Gurpreet got down quick enough to prevent the ball from creeping into the bottom corner.

The home team also saw a penalty appeal turned down in the 55th minute after Albert Serran seemed to have blocked off Chhangte’s path at goal.

The game opened up after the hour mark, as both sides showed more adventure in their bid to score the all-important first goal of the match. Valskis gave Bengaluru another scare in the 74th minute after the Lithuanian was allowed to turn and take a shot. The Blues’ defence, however, recovered just in time to block off his effort. Minutes later, Semboi Haokip hit the side netting after a Rahul Bheke long throw eluded a crowd of players and fell kindly for him.

After a combination of Gurpreet and Bheke denied Andre Schembri, Haokip hit the post after being set free on goal by Juanan. With two minutes to go for regulation time, Chennaiyin found themselves reduced to 10 men after Thoi Singh was given his marching orders for his second booking on the night. The match eventually ended goalless.

Hero of the Match – Rafael Crivellaro

The match might have been devoid of any goals, but Rafael Crivellaro was the brightest attacking spark in the tie, creating three chances for his Chennaiyin teammates. He worked hard throughout the match, keeping the formidable Bengaluru defence on its toes and won the Hero of the Match award.

AWARDS

Club Award – Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Rahul Bheke

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Juanan

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Ashique Kuruniyan 

Hero of the Match – Rafael Crivellaro

Watch the match highlights here:

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