Chennaiyin held by NorthEast United FC in a thrilling 2-2 draw
Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC were involved in a thrilling 2-2 draw in a Hero Indian Super League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai tonight.
The hosts thought that they had the three points wrapped up when Elano Blumer scored his second goal of the evening in the 78th minute after he had put his side in the lead in the 25th minute. But Koke came up with a stunning equaliser in the 85th minute to ensure a division of points. Earlier, Seiminlen Doungel had helped the visitors draw level in the 38th minute with a sweetly timed volley to ensure the two sides crossed over on level terms.
Chennaiyin remain in second spot with 11 points from six games while NorthEast move up to fourth place with nine points from seven games.
It was end to end stuff in this engrossing encounter with the hosts having the greater share of the exchanges and chances. But they were denied on several occasions by timely tackles from the NorthEast defenders and also by Rehenesh TP under the bar who had another great day at the office. Twice, he denied Elano, once in each half, with excellent saves, besides making a few other blocks and interceptions.
The Highlanders also gave a good account of themselves with their commitment and organisation, but their final pass was lacking, thereby blunting the edge in their attacks.
After stitching together a few good moves through both flanks, Chennai went ahead when Elano ran in to meet a Denson Devadas cross from the left and unleashed a powerful header that beat Rehenesh all ends up. The visitors equalised through diminutive striker Doungel who hit the target with a turn and sweetly timed volley after James Keene had flicked it on, following a cross from Airborlang Khongjee.
Elano then got his eighth goal of the league when he dribbled past two defenders at the edge of the box and drilled a low shot to the far post. However, the Highlanders showed their resilience when Koke pounced on a poor headed clearance by Bernard Mendy and blasted a stunning volley past Gennaro Bracigliano. The visitors had a couple of chances more to script a sensational finish but that was not to be.
Chennai travel to Pune for their next fixture on November 11 while NorthEast United return home to take on FC Pune City on November 15.
Hero of the Match: Elano Blumer (watch here)
Swift Moment of the Match: Koke (watch here)
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Robin Gurung
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Seiminlen Doungel (watch here)