In a game of two halves, the champions of the previous two season viz Chennaiyin FC and Atletico de Kolkata shared the spoils. The visitors looked to have a hold on the game and deservedly went forward via a goal from their marquee star Helder Postiga in the 39th minute.
However, switching sides after the half-time interval meant a switch in the flow of the game as well as the defending champions came roaring back. And after missing a handful of chances themselves, finally got their equaliser in the 77th minute as Davide Succi headed in from around 7 yards out.
The result sees Atletico rise to third spot on the table with 15 points from 11 games while Chennaiyin remained in sixth place but only a point behind. Here is how each of the players fared in this clash of the champions in Chennai.
Karanjit Singh (7/10)
Didn’t have much to do for most of the game. A spectator in the second half as Chennaiyin enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession.
Mehrajuddin Wadoo (7/10)
Failed to contain Postiga as he rose above Mehraj to head home the opener. The right flank, however, belonged to the man from Jammu and Kashmir in the second half. He had so much space and time on the right-hand side that he could have mistaken this for a class in physics.
Bernard Mendy (7.5/10)
The Frenchman was again his inspirational self in the blue of the Chennaiyin jersey. In fact, till Succi scored the goal, Mendy looked like the home side’s best bet at getting the equaliser.
Eli Sabia (7/10)
Sabia looked shaky in the opening moments as Atletico started brightly with crosses getting fizzed into the wings from both sides. He was punished for his indecisiveness in the first half as Postiga made the most. However, he got a lot back as he produced the cross for the eventual equaliser.
Jerry Lalrinzuala (6/10)
Not the most impressive games for the teenager. With Pritam Kotal overlapping, he had a lot on his hand. The man from the North East had a great opportunity to win it late. However, his first touch betrayed him at the death as he looked set to get in on the left.
Manuele Blasi (5.5/10)
Had a subdued game. Even when Kolkata went to a back five late on, Blasi failed to dictate terms with his play.
Hans Mulder (5/10)
A bad game from the Dutchman who looked a pale shadow of himself. He didn’t do much to warrant writing on him.
Zakeer Mundampara (6/10)
Zakeer enthralled the crowd with his long rangers. However, sadly for him and his team, none were on target. Prodded the ball here and there, but failed to make a telling contribution.
Raphael Augusto (7/10)
The Brazilian showed again why he is the heartbeat of the side. Augusto was Chennaiyin best bet in midfield as he dictated tempo, distributed and held up play as and when required.
Jeje Lalpekhlua (N/A)
Sadly Jeje was an early casualty as an injury forced him off.
Davide Succi (6.5/10)
The Italian was the mirror image of what has plagued this ISL viz. “bad finishing”. His failure to put the ball into the empty net in the 73rd minute was as big a howler we have seen in the ISL. However, his persistence paid off as he eventually got the equaliser with a well-directed header.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia (7/10)
One man’s food is another man’s poison and so it proved correct once again. While Jeje’s injury was unfortunate in every sense of the word, it also gave us a chance to get a glimpse into the future. The young man who plies his trade for Bengaluru FC in the I-League came in for the Indian international and showed us that he could be the same in a few years.
Showing composure beyond his years and the confidence to pull off a few exquisite skills, Daniel had the crowd roaring as he came to life late in the game.
Proved to be a nuisance at the back as he jostled for position and made threatening runs late in the match, setting the cat amongst the pigeons