ISL 2020-21: Chennaiyin left to rue missed chances, draws with Bengaluru

ISL 2020-21: Chennaiyin FC missed more than half-a-dozen opportunities against a largely pedestrian BFC, leaving it in eighth place on 17 points, and without a win in five matches.

Bengaluru FC vs Chennaiyin FC

Sunil Chhetri and Eli Sabia vie for the ball during Friday's Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) clash between Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

Chennaiyin FC was left ruing a host of missed chances as Bengaluru FC (BFC) held it to a goalless draw at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday. Csaba Laszlo’s men missed more than half-a-dozen opportunities against a largely pedestrian BFC, leaving them in eighth place on 17 points, and without a win in five matches.

BFC, which had hoped to build on the win over SC East Bengal, remains sixth on the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) points table with 19 points, three off the last playoff berth.

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As early as the eighth minute Sunil Chhetri was furious for not getting a free kick for what he thought was a back pass from Eli Sabia to Vishal Kaith. The skipper would come close on 34 minutes when his fierce shot from the edge of the six-yard box was superbly blocked by Sabia.

But for those two moments, it was all Chennaiyin. The presence of Manuel Lanzarote lent the side some vibrancy as it attacked with verve, especially from wide areas.

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In the 11th minute, Lallianzuala Chhangte headed straight to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu off a fine cross from Anirudh Thapa. Just before the half-hour mark, Rahim Ali’s ball from the left just evaded Esmael Goncalves. Five minutes before the break, Lanzarote’s attempted chip into the path of Esmael was cut off by Gurpreet.

Manuel Lanzarote

Manuel Lanzarote's presence lent Chennaiyin FC some vibrancy as it attacked with verve, but the side still failed to find the back of the net against Bengaluru FC.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

 

Immediately after the restart, Lanzarote swung a free-kick but Gurpreet got a finger-tip. On 60 minutes, Lanzarote’s glorious ball over the BFC defence set Esmael through on goal, but the striker hit it straight at Gurpreet.

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As the match entered the final quarter, Chhangte came close twice; a one-on-one was fluffed after he took one touch too many and his sharp left-footer on the turn was tipped around the post by Gurpreet.

In the 84th minute, Memo Moura unleashed a thunderbolt free-kick, but it crashed off the post. An exasperated Laszlo looked skyward and threw his arms up in desperation. But Lady Luck refused to smile.

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