Chennai: Guyon Fernandez’s last minute strike sealed Delhi’s first point, ever since that 3-2 defeat of FC Pune approximately six weeks ago in November, 2017.
The ‘Lions,’ desperate for win began things highly going ahead as early as the 24th minute, but Jeje’s twin strike in eight minutes looked to have almost sealed the deal for Chennaiyin FC, before the Netherlands born forward struck late, to earn the Dynamos an important point at the Marina Arena on Sunday.
Coming on as a substitue for Lallianzuala Chhangte, the 31 year-old latched onto a Kalu Ulche header to slot home from close range, handing Delhi a last minute equaliser against the ‘Marina Machans.’
The game however had been in Chennaiyin’s favour for most part after Indian International Jeje Lalpekhlua scored two goals across both the halves in the space of six minutes and assistant coach Sabir Pasha later praised he Mizoram sniper saying, “Jeje always scores. That is all that matters for us and him.”
A Rene Mihelic free-kick was headed into the net by Jeje, after the Dynamos defenders failed to clear the ball and it fell for him. But again it was Delhi, who should have gone ahead just before half-time. After snatching the ball from a Chennaiyin player, Chhangte Ngaihte initiated a coutner-attack finding Romero’s run on the right flank, but the winger’s shot was wonderfully blocked by Karanjit Singh on goal.
The home side however didn’t look to stop after going some momentum and eventually took the lead six minutes after the break when Jeje’s half-turn after receiving a pass from Germanpreet saw him ease past both the Dynamos centre -backs, before rifling one past newly recruited Xabi Irureta, for his second of the night.
Earlier, it was Delhi who took the lead despite Chennaiyin controlling the proceedings. The hosts had began well forcing Irureta into two close saves from two corners into the opening few minutes. But it was the ‘Lions’ who struck after capitalising on some slack defending from the home team.
It was Nelson who gave away the ball too cheaply that led to the first goal, when Lumu picked out Nandhakumar, whose perfect-inch cross was headed in by an unmarked David Ngaihte in the 24th minute.
Shell-shocked by the early goal, the ‘Machans’ took some time to settle but should have equalised 12 minutes later when Nelson’s cheeky back-heel found Francisco in the Delhi box, but he shot wide after Mihelic had skied one minutes before.
The game however was dictated by Chennaiyin until Fernandez’s moment of brilliance, seized an important away point for Delhi who will hope to carry on from here, when they face two-time Indian Super League (ISL) finalists Kerala Blasters, at home.
Chennaiyin FC meanwhile sailed to the top depite the draw with 17 points from nine matches and take on high-flying FC Pune City at home, a week later.