ISL: Last minute Chhangte goal sees ten-man Chennaiyin FC draw with NorthEast United

Catch all the updates, commentary and score from the final league stage game of this season's Indian Super League between North East United FC and Chennaiyin FC.

Chennaiyin and NorthEast go head-to-head in the final league stage game of the ISL.   -  ISL

Hello and welcome to the LIVE coverage of the Indian Super League match between NorthEast United FC and Chennaiyin FC from the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati. I am Anirudh Velamuri and I will be taking you through the proceedings.

 

FULLTIME The teams share the spoils and Chennaiyin FC finishes fourth in the table, meaning FC Goa will be its opponent in the playoffs.

90' + 4' GOAL! CHHANGTE SCORES AND CHENNAIYIN IS BACK ON LEVEL TERMS. He twists and turns at the edge of the box and squeezes his shot in at the near post. No celebration from the ex-NorthEast player.

90' + 3' NorthEast's first change sees Ninthoi being replaced by Dipu.

90' + 1' Milan's through ball puts Redeem one-on-one with the 'keeper but Karanjit comes out quickly and clears it. The rebound falls to Chanves whose shot is blocked on the goalline by Tangri.

90' Four minutes added.

86' Chennaiyin might be a man down but Raheen Ali, who is leading the line in Valskis' absence, has given his all today. Every ball has been chased with equal intent and Coyle will be please with the youngster's work rate.

83' The second and third changes for Chennaiyin FC sees Jerry and Chhangte come on for Dhanpal and Remi.

79' Chaves tries to attack a ball into the box as Karanit comes out immediately. The Uruguayan does make first contact but the goalkeeper's fists catch his head and he's on the floor. He looks alright to carry on though.

76' Chennaiyin with its back to the wall again. Another ball is floated in but Masih is alert to head it away.

71' GOAL! Chaves with an absolute blinder to give NorthEast the lead. His corner is cleared but the ball falls to Nimthoi, whose cross is deflcted to Chaves who is just outside the box. He takes a first time volley that rises up and comes down in time to beat a diving Karanjit.

69' First substitution for Chennaiyin sees Edwin make way for Dinliana.

68' Ninthoi's chip into the box is headed clear by Thoi.

65' Lalengmawia is inches away from giving NorthEast the lead! His shot from outside the box has a lot of turn on it and it swerves just wide.

61' Deepak Tangri with back-to-back sliding challenges in the box to make sure Karanjit isn't troubled.

58' Thapa is down on the ground after a heavy challenge and Coyle is giving the fourth official a piece of his mind in the meantime. The midfielder is fine to carry on though.

51' Germanpreet Singh tried to build an attack from the midfield but Jose Leudo is having nonw of that. And the rain is absolutely pelting right now.

46' Chennaiyin FC gets the second half started. And NorthEast is on the attack immediately.

WATCH | Anirudh Thapa is currently busy marshalling Chennaiyin FC's midfield in Guwahati but we kept him 'on his toes' off the field as well.

 

HALF TIME Both teams going into the break on level terms. Masi gave Chennaiyin the lead before Chanves converted from the spot. An intriguing second half awaits us. We'll be back in 15 minutes.

45' Two minutes added at the end of the half.

42' GOAL! Chaves equalises! Karanjit dives to his left and Chaves goes the other way.

41' Ninthoi is brought down by Tondonba Singh and NorthEast gets a penalty! And Tondonba is shown a red card!

39' Redeem's ball over the defence is aimed at Chaves but Karanjeet comes out quickly and makes sure the Uruguayan doesn't get to that pass.

33' Germanpreet Singh picks up the game's first yellow card for a challenge from behind on Milan Singh.

31' Thapa's dummy sends Vaz sliding and his shot is blocked before it could take flight. That was a good chance to double the team's lead and the midfielder knows it. He's on the floor with his face in his hands.

24' NorthEast takes back control of the game. But all the possession isn't being converted and the visiting side is also happy to play with its back to the goal.

17' GOAL! MASI gives Chennaiyin the lead! Against the run of play, Chennaiyin has broken the deadlock. NorthEast fails to clear a throw-in, there's a scramble in the box and Masi's shot sneaks in. Soram Poirei manages to get his golves on the ball but the shot had too much power in it.

13' Things aren't going Chennaiyin's way in the opening minutes. Trying to build a counter-attack, Edwin Vanspaul smacks the ball into Dhanpal Ganesh and it almost turns into an opportunity for the home side.

12' A corner isn't cleared properly and a speculative shout falls to Ninthoi. Masi with a fantastic sliding tackle before Ninthoi could pull the trigger.

10' Ninthoi races on to a long ball but ends up picking the wrong pass with Redeem Tlang unmarked in the middle. Chance wasted.

7' Masih Saighani pushes Martin Chaves while going for a header and the referee gives the home side a freekick. Milan takes it but it too deep and sails well over everyone's head.

3' NorthEast showing good attacking intent. Chennaiyin, with nine changes, is happy to sit back and defend.

1' And less than a minute into the game, we have our first shot on target! Martin Chaves picks out Milan Singh with a through ball and Milan takes a first time shot from a narrow angle. Easy save for Karanjit Singh.

1' NorthEast United gets the game underway.

While the numbers may not tell the whole story, Edwin Vanspaul has infused much-needed life with his whole-hearted performances into Chennaiyin FC. Click here to read his thoughts about moving from I-League champion Chennai City FC to the ISL, being moved into midfield and more.

In his short stint so far with Chennaiyin FC, the peripatetic Nerijus Valskis finds himself at the forefront of his team's spirited revival. We caught up with him and discussed his journeyman career, life in India, his goals and the Ronaldo-esque celebrations and a lot more.

Click here to read our feature on Chennaiyin's star striker.

From being bottom of the table in November, Chennaiyin FC secured a playoff berth with a game in hand. And today, it can go third - once place above defending champion Bengaluru FC - with a win. Owen Coyle has done a emarkable job in transforming the two-time champion.

Read more on the Blues' resurgence over here.

TEAM NEWS

NorthEast United: Soram Poirei, Rakesh Pradhan, Nim Dorjee, Wayne Vaz, Reagan Singh, Redeem Tlang, Lalengmawia, Milan Singh, Jose Leudo, Ninthoi, Martin Chaves

Chennaiyin FC: Karanjit Singh, Deepak Tangri, Masih Saighani, Tondonba Singh, Remi, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Dhanpal Ganesh, Thoi Singh, Edwin Vanspaul, Rahim Ali

Here's what NorthEast United FC and Chennaiyin FC coaches have said ahead of today's clash.

Owen Coyle: “Firstly, we want to win the game. With that being said, we will not go in with a lot of the boys who played in Mumbai match because we have a few players on three yellow cards. There will be changes but we will definitely go for the win. It’ll be an opportunity for lot of the young players to show what they can do.

“The players have been terrific since day one and they have the quality. I like to think we have a strong mentality right now because we had to quickly evaluate the players and find the winning formula, and we did that. The players are sometimes not given due credit. We had a number of injuries, but we showed real character and desire and that, for me, was pleasing.

“We got 19 points from a possible 21 in our last seven matches and I am truly thrilled to be in the top four. Now we are looking forward to the semis because there are equally good opponents.

“Karanjit (Singh) will captain the team. I have to say that Vishal has been one of the best players in the league and that is because Karanjit has been pushing him. That’s why I have faith in him.”

Khalid Jamil: “This is our last match of the season and we need the fans’ support for it. Everyone will try to give their best to try and end the season on a winning note. Going back home happily with a win after the last match of the season will be the motivation for us.”

“It’s good that the youngsters are playing more. Gaining experience is important for any player. Indian players have been doing well this season. A lot of good young talents have come to the fore, both from our team and other sides. It’s a good thing for Indian football.

“Chennaiyin didn’t start well but picked up momentum in the latter stages. They are a good team with a good balance of Indian and foreign players.”

There has been a lot of talk about an uplift in the mood since Owen Coyle took over Chennaiyin FC. And we captured that in a fun conversation with Dhanpal Ganesh and Edwin Vanspaul, who spoke about their football journey, pick between Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth, reveal the worst dancer in the dressing room and a lot more.

 

In case Chennaiyin FC finishes fourth, it will take on a FC Goa side that will be missing its central midfielder Edu Bedia for the first leg. More details on that over here.

Here's how the equation works for Chennaiyin FC. A draw or a defeat would mean it will face FC Goa in the play-offs. Should it win against NorthEast United, a battle with ATK awaits.

This game between NorthEast United and Chennaiyin FC was supposed to happen on December 12 but it was postponed following protests in Guwahati against CAB (now, CAA).

- Match broadcast details -

The match can be viewed live on Star Sports 2 and 2 HD from 7.30 pm, while Hotstar will provide live streaming online.