In a tense encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, the spoils were shared between Atletico de Kolkata and Chennaiyin FC. An ill-tempered encounter saw both sides finish the match with 10 men as Shilton Paul and Jofre Gonzalez were given their marching orders.
Chennaiyin FC made two changes from the team that started the resounding 5-1 win over Mumbai City FC. Haitian forward Jean Eudes Maurice and Indian full back Dhanachandra Singh replaced Jeje Lalpekhlua and the injured Colombian Jairo Suarez. Kolkata on their part, welcomed back their captain Luis Garcia.
Shilton’s red card changed the first half completely
It was a frantic start to the game with Kolkata setting the pace. Jofre saw an effort flash across the goal, and Luis Garcia tested Shilton Paul from nearly 40 yards. Chennai then got a grip on proceedings, with Harmanjot Khabra and Denson Devadas having efforts on goal but neither of them tested Kolkata custodian Edel Bete.
Just when Chennai seemed to be pressing for the opener, Borja Fernandez opened up the Chennai defense with a pass to Mohammad Rafi, and the striker was brought down by Shilton Paul and denied a clear goal scoring opportunity. Paul was sent off and that meant Maurice's debut was cut short, as he was taken off to be replaced by Frenchman Gennaro Bracigliano.
The ensuing penalty was calmly dispatched by Garcia and Kolkata had their much needed lead. After that, the first half was all about Kolkata's rough challenges, and Elano failing to convert free kicks.
Jofre’s sending off evened it out
Immediately after half time, the game took a turn in Chennai's favour, as Jofre was shown a second yellow card for simulation following a challenge from Gouramangi Singh.
Borja then worked Bracigliano from inside his own half, but the Chennai goalkeeper was up to the task. Chennai then decided to throw the kitchen sink at Kolkata as strikers Jeje Lalpekhlua and Balwant Singh came on to replace Marco Materazzi and Denson Devadas.
Balwant almost made an immediate impact as he ran through and had a shot from the right wing which had Edel beaten but he was denied by the upright.
In injury time, just when it looked as though Chennai were running out of ideas, a cross field pass from Khabra found Gouramangi Singh whose cross was picked up by John Mendoza only for the Colombian to be brought down in the box by Kingshuk Debnath.
That was just the opportunity Elano needed to score in his fifth consecutive game in the league. There was no further action, and on the balance of play, both sides will feel that a draw was a fair result.Published 04 Nov 2014, 21:15 IST