ISL 2019-20: Ten-man Chennaiyin holds wasteful Bengaluru

Chennaiyin FC, reduced to 10-men in the second half after Thoi Singh's red card, held Bengaluru FC to a goalless draw in their Indian Super League clash.

Chennaiyin FC

Action from the Indian Super League (ISL 2019-20) clash between Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC.   -  ISL MEDIA

Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC played out an entertaining, goalless draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday.

Both managers made two changes going into this Indian Super League encounter. With midfielders Anirudh Thapa (suspended) and Germanpreet Singh (injured) missing, Chennaiyin head coach Owen Coyle picked Masi Saighani and Thoi Singh to partner Edwin Vanspaul. His Bengaluru counterpart Carles Cuadrat benched captain Sunil Chhetri and Ashique Kuruniyan was drafted in. Rahul Bheke replaced the suspended Harmanjot Khabra.

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It was a cagey start to the first half and the first attacking move came in the ninth minute. Thoi dispossessed Nishu Kumar and found Rafael Crivellaro, whose through ball to Nerijus Valskis was intercepted. Two minutes later, Chennaiyin 'keeper Vishal Kaith did well to come off his line beat Deshorn Brown to the ball.

The game slowly picked up pace with players flying into tackles across the pitch. In the 17th minute, Brown used his strength to win the ball off Crivellaro, turn and shoot just wide of the post.

Haokip

Bengaluru FC's Haokip had a fine chance to put his side ahead in the 80th minute but was denied by the post.   -  ISL MEDIA

 

A minute later, a ball over the home defence found Aashique. The winger skipped past Eli Sabia and put in a low cross that was intercepted by Lucian Goian. Looking to clear the resulting throw-in, Masi headed the ball towards his own goal and an alert Kaith parried the ball away.

Chennaiyin’s best chance of the game came just past the half an hour mark. Crivellaro evaded Albert Serran’s challenge and squared it for Chhangte. Unmarked and with time to place his shot, the Mizoram winger went for power over placement and shot well over the bar.

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The home side’s first shot on target came with five minutes left in the half. Vlaskis met Laldinliana's deep cross and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had to dive to his right to make the save.

Chennaiyin came out with intent in the second half. Thirteen minutes after the restart, Crivellaro won a free kick on the right. Gurpreet failed to collect the resulting cross but Bengaluru managed to clear the ball.

Serran picked up the first yellow card of the game in the 67th minute. With Crivellaro lining up a shot on the edge of the box, Serran slid in from behind and brought down the midfielder. Valskis’ freekick bounced off teammate Andre Schembri and a good chance went begging.

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The visiting side’s first shot of the second half came in the 78th minute. Bheke’s long throw fell to Thongkhosiem Haokip and the Manipur-born forward could only find the side netting. A minute later, an unmarked Schembri shot past Gurpreet but Bheke got back to clear the ball off the line.

The best chance of the match fell to Haokip in the 80th minute. One on one with the 'keeper, he tried to place his shot beyond Kaith's reach but saw his shot bounce off the post.

The home side, reduced to ten men after Thoi picked up a second yellow card in the 87th minute, held on to take a point and keep its playoff dreams alive.

After 16 games, Bengaluru stays third with 29 points and Chennaiyin – with a game in hand – remains fifth with 22 points.

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