The Marina Machans displayed strong character to earn a draw against the Men of Steel.
Chennaiyin FC went 2-0 down before staging a second-half comeback against Jamshedpur FC to seal a 2-2 draw at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Saturday. In a game where a win would have put them one point off the final playoff spot, Chennaiyin FC were kept at bay by the home side despite dominating possession and creating more chances, and had to ultimately settle for a point.
Jamshedpur FC took the lead in the 17th minute thanks to a finely worked team goal. Rafael Crivellaro played a give-and-go with Daniel Chukwu before threading a fine through ball onto the path of Ritwik Das, whose shot crawled past Samik Mitra.
Chennaiyin FC had 59% possession in the first-half, and were a bit unfortunate not to get a goal, with two shots hitting the woodwork. The first of these efforts came in the 9th minute when Aakash Sangwan found Vincy Barretto with a cross from the left-wing – Barretto’s header rattled the crossbar.
The second came right at the stroke of the half-time whistle. This time, Sangwan was at the end of the corner. He couldn’t get the proper connection, and his glancing header hit the post. Edwin Vanspaul also had a busy half. He worked with Vishal Yadav twice, which included an excellent volleyed effort in the 26th minute. Yadav was alert to both efforts and positioned himself well to deny the Chennaiyin FC midfielder.
Das got his second of the night in the 57th minute with a brilliant individual effort. Once again, the goal came against the run of play. Das received the ball on the left wing, went on the outside before cutting back in, and curled the ball into the top corner. There was a clinical edge to Jamshedpur FC’s performance.
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Vincy Barretto, who had looked quite lively all game, got one back for Chennaiyin FC in the 60th minute with a calmly placed bottom-corner finish. It wasn’t the cleanest of sequences – there was a deflection and ricochet in the lead-up to the goal before the ball found its way to Barretto.
Chennaiyin FC levelled the scores in the 68th minute. Aakash Sangwan played a great cross from the left wing once again, and Petar Sliskovic got ahead of his man to slot the ball home with a deflected effort. There was no grand finish, however. Both sides had a few half chances before the final whistle was blown but had to ultimately settle for a 2-2 draw.
The draw meant that Chennaiyin FC stayed in seventh place with 15 points, four points behind the final playoff spot. They will face Hyderbad FC at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on January 12 to try and keep their playoff hopes alive. Jamshedpur FC will go to the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata to face East Bengal FC on January 13.