ISL 3: Chennaiyin, ATK play out a 1-1 draw
David Succi’s second half header salvaged Chennaiyin a crucial point at home after Helder Postiga had put Kolkata in front earlier in the first half.
A crucial tie for both the sides ended with sharing of spoils as Succi canceled out Postiga’s goal to keep playoff hopes alive for all teams.
Chennaiyin started with just one change from the previous game against Pune, Eli sabia coming in for Eder Monteiro, while Jose Molina’s ATK started with three changes. Prabir Das, Iain Hume and Robert Lalthlamuana sitting out for Balencoso, Pritam Kotal and Keegan Perreira.
The game started with visitors getting an early opportunity to take the lead. In the third minute of play, Ralte’s cross found Postiga inside the box whose header was denied by the side post. In the eight minute, Zakeer let loose a swinging shot from 25 yards out that just went inches past the post. Two minutes later, Jeje setup Mulder for a shot on target but Debjit managed to palm it over.
In the 22nd minute, Chennaiyin had to make a forced substitution as a limping Jeje was replaced by young Bengaluru player Daniel Lalhlimpuia. Unlike ATK players, Chennaiyin were not able to penetrate the defence and were forced to take long hopeful shots.
In the 38th minute, Pritam Kotal and Lara combined well to setup Postiga with a beautiful cross, the ATK marquee didn’t disappoint as he headed the ball into the back of Chennaiyin net as ATK took the lead.
Kolkata seemed to grow in confidence with the goal, In the final minute before break, Javi lara’s curling free-kick was palmed away by Karanjit Singh as both teams headed into tunnel with just one goal separating each other.
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The second half saw Chennaiyin coming out with intent of getting back into the game. Ten minutes into the half and Succi had a good chances of leveling up, a through ball found from Zakeer found Succi free on goal but strikers angled shot just went wide.
Young Daniel looked very good with his pace and guile managing to beat the Kolkata defence every now and then but his final delivery seemed to be wasteful. In the 71st minute, another chance came in way for Succi but the Italian once again had his shot grace the side net.
However six minutes later, Succi finally redeemed himself after he found himself at the end of an Eli Sabia cross heading it smartly past Debjit to bring Chennaiyin on equal terms.
Chennai continued to press with Manuele Blasi and Succi coming close but both the player’s shot were off target. The game ended with both sides taking a point each. Atletico de Kolkata moved to third spot with 15 points from eleven games while Chennaiyin remained at sixth with just one point away from play off.
With the season entering its final phase a lot would depend on Goal difference as each team still having a chance to enter the play off. The gap between last placed Goa and third place Kolkata being just four points.
Chennaiyin FC 1 (Succi 77’) – 1 Atletico De Kolkata (Postiga 39’)