Chennaiyin FC, Kerala Blasters play out goalless draw

Points were shared in the Southern derby as Chennayin FC failed to make the best of its chances to revive a disastrous season while Kerala Blasters' winless run continued.

Kerala Blasters' Dheeraj Sing jumps to punch clear against Chennaiyin FC.   -  ISL

In an unfavourable result for both sides, Chennaiyin FC and Kerala Blasters played out a 0-0 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Thursday.

Seimenlen Doungel hit the post for Kerala and Thoi Singh missed a sitter for the host as defending champion Chennaiyin failed to make the best of its chances to revive a disastrous season, while Kerala's winless run continued.

As it happened: Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters

The game threw up surprises even before kick-off. Blasters captain Sandesh Jhingan and Seiminlen Doungel — one of Kerala’s best performers this season — started from the bench. John Gregory made five changes to the Chennaiyin starting line-up, leaving the likes of goalkeeper Karanjit Singh, Carlos Salom and Anirudh Thapa on the bench.

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Neither team looked comfortable on the ball in the first few minutes, with the first real chance coming in the 30th minute from a set piece — a Chennaiyin specialty last season. Mailson Alves headed an Orlandi free-kick onto the path of Thoi Singh whose powerful volley was straight at Blasters goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh, who was adjudged the man of the match.

Three minutes later, in a quick counter-attack, Jeje Lalpekhlua — who’s been going through a dry spell in front of goal — squared the ball to Thoi Singh. He scuffed the shot and ended up missing the easiest chance of the game.

Raphael Augusto, pulling the strings in midfield and entertaining fans with his intricate skills, was the only bright spark of the game. He created more than one good chance early in the second half, but Chennaiyin couldn't find its finishing touch.

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Chennaiyin keeper Sanjiban Ghosh collects the ball from a Kerala corner.   -  ISL

 

Goalkeeper Sanjibhan Ghosh kept the host in the game when he got down well to save a shot from Sahal Abdul Samad in the 51st minute after a brilliant run from Kizito.

Samad made an important contribution on the other end a few moments later when he dived to block a shot from Orlandi that was on its way in.

In the 71st minute, Orlandi missed an easy chance to put the home side in front when he skied a shot.

It was another frustrating night for Kerala, whose best chance came in the 80th minute when Doungel’s shot came off the upright. It created a few more chances in the final ten minutes, with David James even introducing Jhingan late on, but failed to grab a goal.

 

The result: Chennaiyin FC 0-0 Kerala Blasters.