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FULL TIME Chennai could only manage a 3-3 draw despite claiming the lead thrice. With the result, Chennaiyin’s position remains the same in the ISL standings while United leapfrog playoffs rivals Pune City. Chennaiyin’s chances of reaching the playoff stages for the third time in three years looks bleak as they have just one game left.

Shouvik Ghosh took full advantage of a brilliant corner from Nicolas Velez, heading it in for NorthEast United FC’s equalizer!

90+6′ GOOALLLLL!! NEUFC Scored. Katsumi wins a corner-kick and Shouvik finds the equaliser as United keep their chances of reaching the playoff stages alive.

90+1′ Dudu gets a hero’s cheer as he leaves the pitch with Eder coming on to protect the lead in the dying minutes. Nervy moments for Chennaiyin as United look to snatch an equalizer.

90′ Chaos ensue as Velez and Wadoo spark a commotion. The United player eats a yellow for throwing the ball at the Chennaiyin fullback while Wadoo gets booked for simulation.

88′ Hanghal eats a yellow card after refusing to hand the ball to the travelling team, who had won a free-kick. Obscenities have been thrown at the referee for the second time in this game.

Dudu hattrick and potential winner of the match.

87′ Today’s attendance 25235, and this crowd definitely deserves yet another home game. Should Chennaiyin manage to hold on to their lead, any Marina Arena faithful can fancy his or her chances of returning to the stadium this season.

85′ Chennaiyin waste yet another opportunity to create a chance through counter as Succi fails to notice Mendy’s overlapping run.

81′ GOOOALLLL Dudu completes a hat-trick as he again restores Chennaiyin’s lead. Augusto played in Mendy, who crossed after turning Ghosh for the goal. It seemed as though an earthquake had hit the stadium as I literally had to hold on to my chair. The stadium chants Mendy’s name in unison as I type.

79′ With Mendy and Dudu lurking in the penalty box, Riise’s throw is almost guided into the net, but a touch from a United player results in a corner that Chennaiyin squande

77′ Paul limps off the pitch after the goalkeeper asks to be substituted. Rehenesh replaces the veteran Indian shot-stopper.

76′ Mulder makes way for the French defender, who espouses the emergency striker role as he plays alongside Succi and Dudu. Materazzi desperately needs a winner here.

73′ Turmoil in the stands as United fans and Chennaiyin fans seemingly engage in a war of words and a few jostles.

71′ ISL topscorer Alfaro;leaves the pitch as Japanese attacker Katsumi Yusa joins the party in Chennai. His vibrancy is all that the Highlanders need as the game reaches the final twenty minutes.

69′ Mulder. who had a more advanced role in the first half, now sits in front of Riise and Eli Sabia as substitute Khabra partners Jerry down the left flank. With the Dutchman building up from deep, Chennaiyin can create quality chances.

66′ Succi and Dudu lack the chemistry that Jeje and the former had as Dudu fails to read Succi’s run. A frustrated Succi proceeds to make a sideways pass after what looked a promising counter.

64′ Goalkeeper Rehenesh warms up as he looks ready to replace his compatriot, but Paul composes himself as he continues to guard the United goal.

62′ Paul goes down and looks to be in serious pain, but the home fans are not buying it as they boo the United custodian.

60′ Substitute Priori has rendered Augusto futile as he continues to struggle, surprisingly. Mundampara leaves the pitch, making way for Khabra. Mendy warms up near the flanks now.

57′ Khabra is warming up, and it looks as though Hanghal will be on his way out. The coaching staff look nervous as they hand out commands to the Indian midfielder.

Blunder from Karanjit helped Velez to make it 2-2 for NEUFC.

56′ Succi beats three United defenders before trying his luck from distance.However, the shot loses all of its power by the time it gets near Paul’s goal as the Indian goalkeeper collects it with much ease.

53′ United continue to test Chennaiyin’s mettle as they continue to cause a lot of problems to the Blues’ defense. Bringing on Mendy and Rane now seems a matter of time as Chennaiyin lack the desire they had in the first half.

51′ GOOALLL!!! Velez Scored again. United equalize again as another player completes a brace.Velez buries a half volley into Karanjit’s goal after a poor unintentional clearance from Eli Sabia. Chennai are in deep trouble.

Dudu finished neatly from an inviting cross by Chennaiyin FC’s Jerry Lalrinzuala!

48′ Riise’s throw-ins have been as significant as the fullback’s crosses as Materazzi’s men manage to eke out a half chance out of every Riise throw-in.

46′ Game continues without any half-time substitutions. The weather is superb out here in Chennai, which can only be said as rarely as stating Dudu has bagged an ISL brace.

HALFTIME The battle for three valuable points continues as Velez managed to nullify Chennai’s lead only for the Dudu to restore the one-goal lead. Knowing a loss can sound death knell to NorthEast United, Vingada will expect his personnel to find an early goal in the second half to get back into the game.

45+1′ GOOOALLLL!!!! DUDU once again.Dudu finds his second goal of the game with a simple tap in from a low cross from Jerry. The stadium erupts again.

Reply Shows Dudu was just offside .

Nicolas Velez ran through the heart of Chennaiyin FC’s defence and blasted one into the corner!.

45′ 2 Minutes of added time.

44′ Augusto’s magic, as mentioned below, has been missing, and Materazzi needs to motivate his talisman as could make getting back into the game seem so seamless.

41′ Wadoo has been a serious attacking threat so far, with United electing to play a narrow defense. They should capitalize on crosses as they did earlier in the game.

39′ GOOALLL!!! Wonderful reply from velez. Velez levels for United with a brilliant solo effort as he hits the far corner with a superb right-footed strike. Karanjit could do nothing but see the ball hit the net. United are back in the game again.

Dudu nods in Mehrajuddin Wadoo’s cross at the near post to give Chennaiyin FC the lead on the night!

37′ The tempo of the game slows down greatly as Chennai seem happy to pass the ball around. Their move makes perfect sense as they will need to settle rather than concede a counterattack.

36′ Dudu’s offside awareness seems poor as the Nigerian striker remains firmly rooted to an offside position with Augusto holding on to the ball for far too long. He eventually makes a poor pass as United spark a counterattack.

34′ GOOALLL!! Dudu Scored. Dudu’s targetman tendencies finally pays off as he guides a superb cross from Wadoo into the net. Despite being somewhat ineffective so far, he has already made his most influential touch of the season so far.

32′ Augusto’s magic has been rendered ineffective by the United midfield as Priori and Lalrempuia corner him every time he gets the ball on his feet. Despite being somewhat influential, the first half an hour is easily his most unremarkable performance at home.

30′ Riise teases a Ryan Shawcross-esque throw before feeding the ball to an unmarked Hanghal. The Indian midfielder sends in a cross from inside the penalty area, but Paul has no trouble catching the ball.

28′ Hanghal finds Succi after a protracted dribble. The Italian controls it superbly before spraying a defense-splitting pass to Dudu, who is in the perfect goal-scoring position.The flag goes up, though.

25′ Mulder downs N’dri with a high knee. Although the Ivory Coast attacker looked as though he was in pain, he gets right back up to send in a curling free-kick that Alfaro fails to convert. A bit more force on the ball would have seen United claim a crucial lead.

22′ N’dri forces a save from a set-piece after Mundampara had conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position. The game has been lively so far although the end product does not arrive.

21′ A lot of action in the United penalty box as Chennaiyin create half chances after half chances although Succi and Dudu continue to convert those into goals. Chennaiyin desperately miss the fluid Succi-Jeje partnership.

18′ Mulder’s passing has been impeccable and aesthetically pleasing so far although Chennaiyin are struggling to break the United deadlock, with Dudu and Succi playing upfront.

15′ Despite Gustavo leaving the pitch, United have looked as solid as the home team at the back with Zokora acting as an impermeable membrane in front of Paul’s goal.

12′ Riise is on the ball after Succi earns a freekick for the home side a few yards in front of the 18-yard-box. The former Liverpool defender almost beats Paul after his effort suffered a favourable deflection.

10′ Alfaro and Lalrempuia exchange sublime passes and despite being just a single pass away from testing Karanjit, Alfaro is robbed off the ball by Eli Sabia. Despite skipper Mendy’s absence, Chennaiyin have been solid so far.

8′ Gustavo, who was pencilled in to miss the game, receives treatment and is substituted as Priori makes his way.

6′ Succi carves out a chance out of nowhere as his half volley rockets past the goalkeeper. The Italian striker reckons the ball suffered a deflection, but the referee shakes his head, thereby infuriating the home fans.

3′ Both teams have had their shots although neither goalkeeper has faced a real test so far. By the looks of things, we will witness an interesting end-to-end game on this chilly Saturday night in Chennai.

1′ Succi kicks things off in Chennai. He passes the ball back to marquee player Riise, but after a lethargic buildup, Subrata collects the ball.

6:56 pm First half is underway as home and away fans combine to recreate Bray Wyatt’s fireflies entrance. Although this seems a bit bizarre, it seems a great way to kick off what can potentially be the final game of the season.

6:45 pm As for United, Brazilian defender Gustavo Lazzaretti makes the line-up despite manager Nelo Vingada stating today’s game might come a tad too early for him. Katsumi Yusa and Holicharan Narzary on the bench, with injured Indian defender Nirmal Chettri joining them on the bench.

NorthEast United FC lineup :Subrata Paul(GK), Salam Ranjan Singh, Shouvik Ghosh, Mailson Alves, Gustavo Lazzaretti, Didier Zokora(C), Koffi Christian N’dri, Seityasen Singh, Fanai Lalrempuia, Nicolas Leandro Velez, Emiliano Alfaro.

6:35 pm Marco Materazzi has made surprising changes to his squad as he has taken off skipper and fan favourite Bernard Mendy to incorporate struggling striker Dudu Omagbemi with the starting eleven. Siam Hanghal and Jerry Lalrinzuala return to the line-up, with Harmanjot Singh Khabra and Jayesh Rane returning to the bench.

Chennaiyin FC lineup: Karanjit Singh(GK), John Arne Riise, Eli Sabiá, Mehrajuddin Wadoo(C), Jerry Lalrinzuala, Hans Mulder, Siam Hanghal, Raphael Augusto, Zakeer Mundampara, MacPherlin Dudu Omagbemi, Davide Succi.

6:25 pm Chennaiyin lock horns with NorthEast United as either side look for a victory that could hand them the much needed confidence toward the tail-end of the season. The Marina Machans are in hot waters as anything but three points will see them all but crash out of the Indian Super League.

6:21 pm Hello there,Khel Now readers, we were verified on Facebook recently. If you do not follow us yet, do it now as we cover all things Indian football. This is Praveen R. Paramasivam reporting from Marina Arena as Chennaiyin and NorthEast United do battle for three huge points that could decide their progress this season.

Pictures Via ISL Media