New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) A late goal by Mailson Alves earned Chennaiyin FC a 1-1 draw against Delhi Dynamos FC in their Indian Super League (ISL) match here on Sunday.
Although Chennaiyin continue to be fourth on the ISL table with 24 points from 14 matches, the draw means they now face a tough battle to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
Kalu Uche gave Delhi the lead from the penalty spot but Alves levelled for the away side with a header.
Delhi dominated the early exchanges and created a few scares in the Chennaiyin FC defence.
Delhi’s 20-year-old forward Lallianzuala Chhangte was finding it easy to penetrate through the wings. The nippy winger put in a couple of good balls into the opposition box for his teammates.
Fifteen minutes into the game, Delhi Dynamos had a wonderful opportunity to take the lead.
After passing the ball patiently in the midfield, Chhangte put in a tantalising ball into the box for Kalu Uche, but the Nigerian couldn’t get his head to it.
A similar pattern of play continued for much of the first half. But just before the half-time whistle, Chennaiyin could have taken the lead had Gregory Nelson shown some composure in front of goal.
The midfielder was played in by Jaime Gavilan play with just Delhi goalkeeper Xabi Irureta to beat but he blasted his shot high.
In the second half, Kalu Uche gave the home side the lead from the spot. Just before the hour mark, the referee awarded Delhi a penalty for Raphael Augusto’s foul on Mirabaje.
Delhi looked set to take all three points from the game but with just 10 minutes left on the clock, Chennaiyin found a leveller.
Rene Mihelic’s lobbed free kick was met by Alves, who rose above everyone in the box to put the ball past Irureta.
With little time left on the clock, both sides tried to find a winner but there was nothing to separate the two on the night.