Delhi Dynamos struck early and late to force a 3-3 draw against Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League here on Thursday. Blasters finished the season on 13 points while Dynamos stayed third in the table with 22 points and a match against FC Goa in hand.
After Dos Santos put Dynamos ahead, the Blasters hit back through Chris Dagnall, Joao Coimbra and Antonio German to stun the local outfit. Adil Nabi pulled one back as five goals came in a pulsating first session and Sehnaj Singh’s pile-driver in injury time saved the day for Dynamos.
A haze hung over the Nehru Stadium but the teams could eye their targets in a glow of determination. Blasters, with three wins, had a disappointing run preceding this match and the early goal must have hit the team hard but the equaliser within two minutes set up a pacy encounter. Blasters had pride to salvage and Dynamos a passionate drive to take the top slot in the league, having made the semi-final stage in style already.
The action in the middle was not contrived. The moves on either side emanated from deep within and there was purpose in the moves on the flanks as the strikers explored all possible angles. Florent Malouda orchestrated the Dynamos charge and resistance came in the form of Dagnall, who worked tirelessly to keep the Blasters in the game. Open spaces came at a premium as both the teams stretched the ranks of the opposition and produced a thriller.
A flurry of goals
The goal flurry in the first half was in keeping with the trend. Santos sank Blasters with a left-footed placement after Malouda, spotting the onrushing partner, gently but precisely lobbed the ball over a small wall of defenders. As the ball dipped, Santos met it with a fine placement.
But Dynamos had hardly finished celebrating their lead when a blunder by Anas Edathodika cost the team a goal. He misjudged the bounce, tried to head it flamboyantly, only to miss it in a horrendous mess. Dagnall, waiting in anticipation, accepted the offer gleefully.
The spectators were in for a treat this evening. Coimbra sank the ball into the net with a deft curler that gave the goalkeeper little chance as Blasters took the lead in the 30th minute. Next came a stunner from German, who outwit Sehnaj from a corner-created chance and on the turn blazed the ball in with a left-footer that was lethal all the way. Within a minute, Dynamos replied with a classy stuff from Nabi, who met a Shylo Malsawmtluanga floater with a splendid header. The second half paled in comparison barring the moment when Dynamos fired the equaliser.
The Result:Delhi Dynamos 3 (Dos Santos 7', Nabi 40', Sehnaj 90') drew with Kerala Blasters3 (Dagnall 9', Coimbra 30', German 39')
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