ISL 2023-24: Chennaiyin, East Bengal share spoils in match riddled with defensive errors

Ninthoinganba Meetei cancelled Ayush Adhikari’s own goal as Chennaiyin FC drew 1-1 against East Bengal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday.

Published : Nov 25, 2023 19:58 IST , Chennai - 3 MINS READ

Hijazi Maher of East Bengal FC and Jordan David Murray of Chennaiyin FC in action.
Hijazi Maher of East Bengal FC and Jordan David Murray of Chennaiyin FC in action. | Photo Credit: Special arranmgements

Hijazi Maher of East Bengal FC and Jordan David Murray of Chennaiyin FC in action. | Photo Credit: Special arranmgements

In a day of defensive errors, Chennaiyin FC and East Bengal shared points in a 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday.

The contest started on an equal footing, with both teams having an early sight of goal.

In the fifth minute, EB’s P V Vishnu had a shot at goal, which was deflected out for a corner, with Debjit Majumder way off his line. Two minutes later, Ayush dispatched a venomous first-time effort from outside the box, but Red and Gold keeper Prabhsukhan Gill did well to make a fingertip save.

The first big chance of the match came in the 14th minute in favour of the Marina Machans. Cristian Battochhio’s aerial lob split the East Bengal defence, with the ball finding Jordan Murray near the six-yard box. The Australian did the hard part by bringing down the ball with a deft first touch but botched his chance from point-blank range as he skied his effort.

HIGHLIGHTS | Chenaniyin FC 1-1 East Bengal

The breakthrough came in the 29th minute, silencing most of the Marina Arena. The CFC defence was slow to react as Vishnu made a well-timed run behind its defence to get to the loose ball. He made his way into the box, with ample time and space to look for Cleiton Silva by firing a low cross across the face of the goal. Ayush tried to clear the ball with an extended leg but put it inside his own net.

Murray’s bad luck in front of goal continued. In the 40th minute, Rafael Crivellaro spotted the former at the far post and found him with an accurate inswinging cross.

Murray went for a first-time effort, but a double whammy followed for the CFC forward as not only was his shot saved by Gill, but he ended up banging his head against the woodwork, cutting his night short. After some pitchside treatment, he was taken to the hospital for further scans, with Lazar Cirkovic replacing him.

It was the same narrative in the second-half as the home team started on the frontfoot, keeping the Red and Gold defence under the cosh.

In a bid to shuffle things, CFC head coach Owen Coyle brought on Ninthoinganba Meetei and Jiteshwor Singh.

No one could fault Chennaiyin for its attacking intent, but the East Bengal defence kept its shape.

The home team had another shot at the equaliser in the 75th minute. Second-half substitutes combined for an attacking move as Ninthoi’s searching cross found Irfan Yadwad inside the box. Gill came out to collect the ball but completely misjudged the flight of the ball, and all Irfan had to do was touch the ball inside an open net. But, the latter’s touch was poor, and Carles Cuadrat’s men kept their lead intact with a goalline clearance.

READ MORE | Haaland to Ronaldo: Who has scored the most goals in 2023?

It seemed like the away team would steal three points, with the cheers from the home fans slowly dwindling. But all it took was a defensive error from Jose Pardo in the 86th minute as he gave away the ball in the final third.

Crivellaro pounced on the loose ball and flicked it to Ninthoi on his left, who had made a darting run. Gill came off his line to narrow the angle, but the 22-year-old kept his calm to slot the ball inside the net as the Chennaiyin faithful let out a stentorian roar to celebrate the equaliser.

Irfan had the chance to steal the winner in second-half additional time as he lunged at a Crivellaro cross from the left flank, but he could not get a touch.

While Owen Coyle’s men fought till the end to churn out a draw, the Scotsman will be presented with further selection headaches as Ryan Edwards got his marching orders after getting a second yellow card late in additional time.

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment