Defending champion, Hyderabad FC (HFC), fought back from a one-goal deficit to hold Chennaiyin FC (CFC) for a 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League match at the GMC Balayogi Stadium here on Thursday.
It was a story of missed chances for both teams in the first-half.
On resumption after the break, it was a beautiful header from Petar Sliskovic off a curling corner from Akash Sangwan in the 57th minute, which saw Chennaiyin take the lead.
There was little to choose till then between the two sides, with Chennaiyin having a go at the HFC citadel quite a few times. But, the home team’s defence was equal to the task as has been the case this season.
The closest HFC came to scoring in the first half was when Javier Toro’s header from inside the box was collected on the half-volley by custodian Samik Mitra in the 18th minute.
For Chennaiyin, Vincy Baretto sprinted down the centre into the box and had only keeper Gurmeet to beat but failed to capitalise on the chance in the 21st minute.
At half-time, the teams were locked goalless.
On resumption, the combination of Javier Toro and Bartholomew Ogbeche had a close look at the goal, but the Chennaiyin defence was smart enough to thwart that move.
Vince Baretto was again in the thick of it, picking up a long ball from the midfield, but was unlucky to see a diving Gurmeet clear the ball to safety.
A reckless foul by Vafa Hakhamneshi on Javier Toro inside the box saw HFC earn a penalty to the delight of the sparse crowd in the 87th minute.
Ogbeche was spot on to convert it and level the score, eventually leading the match into a draw.