Chennaiyin FC’s hopes of breaking into the top four evaporated as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Hyderabad FC at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Thursday in a tense Indian Super League game.
As the game approached halftime, Chennaiyin went ahead through Mohd Sajid Dhot in the 13th minute, but could not hold on to their lead as Javier Siverio (45th) scored on the cusp of halftime. As Debjit Majumder made several saves in Chennaiyin’s goal in the second period and the home side put pressure on the goalkeeper in six minutes of extra time, there was no goal in the second half. Due to the suspension of league-leading scorer Bartholomew Ogbeche, Hyderabad was devoid of teeth up front.
As a result, Hyderabad moved from sixth to third place with 17 points from 11 games, while Chennaiyin remained sixth with 15 points from 11 games.
Chennaiyin took an early lead when Anirudh Thapa’s inch-perfect free-kick was headed in by young defender Mohd Sajid Dhot, leaving Laxmikant Kattimani with no chance.
After they conceded an early goal, Hyderabad began to dominate possession and create chances in the final third. Asish Rai sent in a delightful cross inside the box for Siviero to leap highest and head the ball past Debjit Majumder just before halftime, making up for his mistake just a minute earlier.
Debjit made two crucial saves immediately after the restart to prevent Siverio from scoring and Edu Garcia from scoring. Ninthoinganba Meetel’s thunderbolt ricocheted off the bar; his rebound was meek. Despite both teams creating a flurry of chances, the clear-cut ones were few and far between.
With Rahim Ali introduced in the second half, Chennaiyin upped the ante. Even so, Hyderabad managed to hold on to earn a point.
(With inputs from ANI)