The two teams were undone by some good defensive work from both outfits.
The Southern Derby between Chennaiyin FC and Kerala Blasters flattered to deceive and provided a lukewarm spectacle at the Marina Arena. The two teams played out a rather tepid 1-1 draw courtesy of goals from Sahal Abdul Samad and Vincy Baretto.
Sahal gave Ivan Vukomanovic’s side the lead with a delightful chip over Debjit following a flowing move. The Blasters went into half-time with the lead but it lasted only three minutes in the second half. Rahim Ali’s searing half-volley was parried by Prabsukhan Gill only for Vincy Barretto to pounce on the rebound to equalize for the home side.
Both teams created chances but neither team threatened nor looked likely to score the winner. As a result, the two sides shared the spoils for the eighth time between them in the ISL. Here are the player ratings from both sides from tonight’s derby.
Chennaiyin FC (by Kaushik G Viswanath)
Debjit Majumder – 6
The Chennaiyin FC goalie faced a few nervous spells in goal but was largely untroubled by the Kerala Blasters. He made four saves on the night but was undone by a delightful dink by Sahal Abdul Samad which gave Kerala the lead.
Ajith Kumar – 7
Impressed once again at both ends of the pitch. Had the most touches by any player on the night with 94 and completed 75% of his 67 attempted passes. He won two tackles and made three clearances and six interceptions while also blocking a shot. Kept Rahul KP for most parts of the game.
Fallou Diagne – 6.5
The Senegalese did a good job in recycling possession from the back by completing 91% of his 69 attempted passes. Defensively, he was a rock making four clearances and winning one tackle. He also blocked one shot.
Vafa Hakhamaneshi – 6
Aided his defensive partner well albeit making some nervous mistakes at times. Completed 88% of his passes and made four clearances to get his side a point on the night.
Aakash Sangwan – 6.5
Performed well to keep Adrian Luna and Sandeep Singh quiet on the right wing. Completed 69% of his passes and made four clearances and one interception in the game.
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Sourav Das – 6
Played well in defensive midfield both on and off the ball. Sourav won one tackle and made one interception. He created one chance and completed 88% of his passes allowing Chennaiyin FC to go toe-to-toe with their rivals in midfield.
Julius Duker – 6
The German put in a good shift before being taken off in the 70th minute. Won all four of his tackles, created one chance and completed 69% of his 32 attempted passes.
Edwin Vanspaul – 6
Created three chances (most by any CFC player) on the night and completed 63% of his passes. Defensively, he won two tackles and made one interception before being taken off in the 70th minute.
Prashanth Karuthadathkuni – 5.5
Created a chance and completed 71% of his passes. Defensively won one tackle before being substituted for an attack-minded Rahim Ali at the start of the second half.
Vincy Barretto – 6
Scored the equalizer for Chennaiyin FC and proved potentially lethal with his pace and dribbling. But did not offer much on the ball other than the goal. He completed only six passes at an accuracy of 55% in his 78-minute stay on the pitch. Defensively, he won one tackle and made a clearance and interception respectively.
Petar Sliskovic – 6
Endured a frustrating night in offence by not taking a single shot. Saved his best on defensive duties tonight with five clearances and winning one tackle. The Croat completed 61% of his passes before being taken off in the 84th minute for Kwame Karikari.
Rahim Ali (for Prashanth Karuthadathkuni 46′) – 6.5
Put in an impressive performance coming off the bench. His attempted piledriver shot led to the parried shot being tucked in by Vincy Baretto for the equalizer.
Nasser El Khayati (for Julius Duker ’70) – 6
The Dutchman came on for the final 25 minutes but could not conjure up his magic against the Blasters. He did show glimpses of his class with some fancy dribbles but did not have much to show in his stint off the bench. Defensively, he made one clearance and interception respectively.
Jiteshwor Singh (for Edwin Vanspaul 70′) – 6
Showed good intent and strength to win the ball off the Blasters’ players but did not have much to do on the ball.
Anirudh Thapa (for Vincy Barretto 78′) – 5.5
The skipper spurned a great chance to set up the winner in the final few minutes. Did not have much else to show in his 17-minute stint on the pitch other than four passes and one clearance.
Kwame Karikari (for Petar Sliskovic 84′) – N/A
The Ghanaian came on for the final six minutes and did not get a lot of service to work on. Went down clutching his leg late in the game which could spell trouble for Thomas Brdaric’s side.
His sudden reflex stopped the Rahim Ali shot but was unable to do anything for the rebound shot by Vincy Baretto. Apart from that goal he made some sharp saves.
Found it difficult to live with Kerala’s defence at first but upped the intensity and began to turn the tide. Some early crosses to the attacking third proved to be of little use for the team.
Strong in the backline and never short of commitment. His tenacity ensured that Chennaiyin FC couldn’t create anything of note apart from a tap-in from Baretto.
Part of his job was to get his positioning right and help Leskovic. Done his job pretty well apart from conceding the only goal.
Nishu Kumar – 7
Earned the praise from the fans through his acrobatic defending skills. Blocked several attempts from the opposition wingers.
His surging runs in the first half were impressive. Supported Sandeep Singh while making transitions. His dribbling terrified Chennaiyin FC at times.
An intelligent player in the midfield. No one could match the vision and anticipation Ivan had for the game. His through pass to Sahal opened the account for Kerala Blasters.
As a defensive midfielder, he had to make a lot of interceptions and cover runs. Grew stronger as the game progressed. Tried some long-range efforts in the course of the match.
Scored the only goal for Kerala Blasters among the plenty of chances he received. His driving runs had Chennaiyin FC worried at 1-0. Unfortunately, he lacked ideas in the final third.
Maintained his usual class throughout the match. His technical ability allowed him to wriggle out of tight spots when he was under pressure. His set pieces tested the opposition’s defence multiple times.
Dimitrios Diamantakos – 6.5
Nobody could fault the stalwart’s effort. Was a key part of Kerala’s attacking display. Was tightly marked by Chennaiyin defenders throughout the match.
The defender did not offer much in defence. He was more focused on trying to create more chances on the flanks. Made two passes into the final third.
The striker was quiet after replacing Ivan Kaliuzhnyi. Had just three touches on the ball.
Unable to influence the game after replacing Sahal. Made no sizeable contribution having 17 touches on the ball.
Came in at the added time. Had little impact on the game.