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Kerala Blasters FC vs Chennaiyin FC: Who won yesterday's match?

Chennaiyin FC dropped points once again after taking the lead against the Yellow Army. Courtesy: ISL
Chennaiyin FC dropped points once again after taking the lead against the Yellow Army. Courtesy: ISL
Karthik Raj
ANALYST
Modified 22 Feb 2021
Feature
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Kerala Blasters FC and Chennaiyin FC played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in the 102nd match of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) Season at the GMC Bambolim Stadium in Goa.

A Gary Hooper penalty cancelled out an early goal from Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev as Chennaiyin FC became the first side to finish their campaign.

Chennaiyin FC got off to a rapid start as Lallianzuala Chhangte raced into the box and delivered a cross into the middle. The ball was diverted to Anirudh Thapa who forced Albino Gomes to make a save with a thunderous strike.

Chhangte came up with another cross for Jakub Sylvestr but he headed it over the crossbar.

Chennaiyin FC eventually took the lead in the 10th minute through a maiden ISL goal from Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev.

Edwin Sydney Vanspaul made a neat pass to Fatkhullo who then cut in and struck the ball low on target. The shot should have been saved but Albino Gomes let it go under his legs.

The Marina Machans could have very well extended the lead but Enes Sipovic’s header off a Manuel Lanzarote free-kick struck the woodwork before it was cleared to safety.

The Yellow Army also looked good in this end-to-end encounter with Gary Hooper slipping a pass for Jordan Murray down the right flank. The Aussie went across the goal but Kaith dived low to his right to come up with another good save.

Chhangte continued to cause havoc as he put in one more low cross but the ball went through to the other side of the box as no Chennaiyin FC player could get to the end of it.

Just before the cooling break, Hooper showed some silky skills to get past a couple of defenders but his shot was blocked inadvertently by Sipovic.

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The move was kept alive with Prasanth Karuthadathkuni delivering a cross to the far end of the box where Deepak Tangri handled the ball during a duel with Murray. The referee spotted the infringement and gave a penalty which was taken superbly by Hooper.

The star forward Hooper then hung a cross for Rahul KP but the youngster headed it wide.

The last chance of the half came in stoppage time when a Jessel Carneiro free-kick was almost headed past Kaith by his own team-mate Deepak Tangri. Luckily for Chennaiyin FC, Kaith jumped across and parried it away for a corner.

Kerala Blasters FC had a shot early in the second half with Rahul KP’s effort going pretty wide of goal after Thoi Singh refused to give him any space.

The game got a bit scrappy after that with both teams making a lot of fouls. Jessel took a set-piece resulting from one such foul but the Chennaiyin FC defense cleared it for a corner.

A few minutes later, Murray was booked for a dive as he went down in the box even though Jerry Lalrinzuala was some distance away from him.

Kerala Blasters FC then broke on a terrific counter-attacking move but substitute Thoi produced a key block to negate Prasanth’s strike.

In the 80th minute, Chennaiyin FC went down to ten men after Enes Sipovic was booked for a second time.

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Kerala Blasters FC skipper Jessel produced a powerful strike from distance only to see Kaith up to the task with an equally superb save.

Murray delivered a last-gasp cross to Vicente Gomez but Kaith kept the scoreline intact for Chennaiyin FC.

In the end, both teams had to settle for a point each.


Who was the Hero of the Match?

Lallianzuala Chhangte was on fire in this match against Kerala Blasters FC. Courtesy: ISL
Lallianzuala Chhangte was on fire in this match against Kerala Blasters FC. Courtesy: ISL

Lallianzuala Chhangte’s resurgence in the second half of the season continued as he bagged the ‘Hero of the Match’ award against Kerala Blasters FC.

Chhangte caused a lot of trouble to Bakary Kone, especially in the first-half, as the defender couldn’t cope up with a Chennaiyin FC winger’s pace.

Chhangte's energy was one of the main reasons for Chennaiyin FC's quick start and they should have probably scored more.

The 23-year-old produced four crosses and was involved in six ball recoveries.

Published 22 Feb 2021, 07:34 IST
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