The Kerala Blasters spoiled Chennaiyin FC’s desire to end the season on a high Sunday, having held them to an exciting 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League at GMC Stadium in Bambolim. Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev put Chennaiyin FC ahead in the 10th minute, which was canceled out by Gary Hooper’s 29th-minute goal on the spot. Csaba Laszlo’s team finished the season with 20 points in 20 games. Chennaiyin FC got off to an electrifying start and created plenty of chances in the opening minutes of the game. Anirudh Thapa fired a shot in the first minute, forcing Kerala goalkeeper Albino Gomes to make an early save.
After creating nearly half a dozen chances, the Marina Machans have managed to break the deadlock. Bakary Kone’s head fell on Edwin Vanspaul, who played it on the left flank to find Fatkhulloev. The forward cut inside before unleashing a powerful strike that beat Gomes.
Chennaiyin almost scored their second but Enes Sipovic saw his header hit the crossbar.
Kerala gained momentum in the second quarter and during that time they pushed their opponents high, putting them under pressure.
After suffering a good spell in Chennaiyin territory, Kerala received a penalty when Deepak Tangri was the culprit for handling the ball in the area. Hooper made sure he converted the kick to keep his team at the same level.
Hooper almost put his team in the lead before the break. Lalruatthara deflected Jeakson Singh’s lobed pass into Hooper’s path at the edge of the box. However, his bullet shot sailed over the crossbar.
The second half saw a more balanced game as both teams had identical possession and passing. They paired up with a very relaxed game plan.
While there were chances to create, it was Vishal Kaith who made crucial saves to maintain the scoring level.
Hooper’s cross at the far post found Jordan Murray whose header was parried by Kaith. Chennaiyin FC was reduced to 10 men after Sipovic received his marching orders.
Prasanth Karuthadathkuni turned away from Sipovic. The defender unintentionally slapped Prasanth’s foot and the referee felt it was bad enough for a second yellow.
Having a power play, Kerala continued to seek the winner. Jessel Carneiro hit a tied shot from a distance, but Kaith’s brilliance kept the ball out of the goal.
Chennaiyin defended well in the closing minutes of the game to end his season in a draw.
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