ISL 2019-20: Chennaiyin FC 2-2 Odisha FC | 5 Talking Points
Odisha FC twice came back from a goal down to peg Chennaiyin FC back to a draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai this evening in the Indian Super League. Aridane Santana scored the second equaliser in the 82nd minute, to join Jamshedpur FC's Sergio Castel at the top of the goalscoring charts.
Xisco Hernandez had equalised three minutes after Nerijus Valskis gave Chennaiyin the lead in the 51st minute. Valskis, though, popped up again in the 71st minute to head Chennaiyin into the lead, that they ultimately could not hold on to.
The draw didn't really do either team any good in terms of the table, even as Chennaiyin jumped up a spot ahead of Kerala Blasters, into 8th place. Odisha remain in sixth, and three points off a spot in the top four, with Chennaiyin a further point behind them.
Here are the main points of discussion from the game.
#5 Odisha dominate the first half
In the first half, Chennaiyin were almost a non-entity in an attacking sense. Odisha controlled possession, got into good areas, and created plenty of chances, but they were far too wasteful. Josep Gombau's side had 8 shots in the first half, but only one was on target.
Tactically, Odisha were superb before the break. Marcos Tebar and Vinit Rai were outstanding with their passes into space, and Xisco was occupying the space in between the lines. Masih Saighani had a torrid evening, as he could never get to grips with Xisco's movement.
Combining with Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Aridane Santana, Xisco caused the Chennaiyin defence all kinds of problems, and he should have given Odisha the lead midway through the half, when he skied a shot off a superb cut-back from Nandhakumar Sekar.
Odisha lost that impetus after the break, though, and that allowed Chennaiyin to get a foothold in the game.