Chennai City FC (CCFC) had the match pretty much in its grasp but let go of it quite easily as it drew with Aizawl FC 1-1 in the I-League here on Sunday. CCFC’s conversion in the final third continued to be poor this season, and it once again paid the price for it.
Early on in the contest, CCFC impressed with its one-touch passes and attractive midfield play, but finishing remains its Achilles heel. Japanese Katsumi Yusa’s header five minutes before half-time for the host was nullified early in the second half by Rochharzela, who scored through a penalty.
Striker Adolfo Miranda’s short loop saw substitute Syed Suhail Pasha make a valiant attempt to head it home, but it found Katsumi, who headed it home over Aizawl keeper Zothanmawia in the 40th minute.
READ | East Bengal completes thrilling comeback victory over TRAU FC
That was the tonic that CCFC needed, but it failed to ride on the momentum. Late in the second half, Mirando had the gilt-edged chance from close to score, but he chose the wrong angle and it went wide off the near post.
CCFC nearly scored in the ninth minute. Rohit’s wonderful pass found Vijay. But the midfielder’s shot hit the defender's leg inside the box.
A fatal error by captain Roberto Eslava resulted in the equaliser. The Spaniard brought down Nigeria's Justice Morgan and the referee Mithun Kumar Kundu had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, which Rochharzela went on to convert with glee.
Aizawl appeared satisfied after scoring a goal, and it played safe. However, the visitor too had shots at the goal. Matias Veron’s blistering left-foot was saved by Chennai keeper Nauzet Santana in the 45th minute.
CCFC’s next home match is on March 29. In the club's next encounter, it will meet Indian Arrows on February 28 in Mumbai.