Chennaiyin FC had gone ahead in the dying minutes of the encounter
After dominating for the most part, Chennaiyin FC thought it had bagged three points courtesy a penalty in the 89th minute only to be denied by a stoppage-time goal from C.K. Vineeth that stunned the home crowd into silence.
Kerala Blasters FC skipper Sandesh Jhingan handled Francisco Fernandes’ shot that was heading towards the target and the referee pointed to the spot. Rene Mihelic, who came in the 76th minute, converted with ease to give Chennaiyin the lead.
Jhingan made up for his mistake in the final minute as he set up Vineeth from the right flank for an easy tap in from within six yards.
Earlier, in the first half, the home team controlled possession and created a few half chances. In the 12th minute, Jude Nworuh released Jeje on the left flank but the latter’s wasteful cross went out for a goal-kick.
Anirudh Thapa, who started instead of the suspended Dhanapal Ganesh, looked solid in midfield along with Raphael Augusto. In the fourth minute, Thapa’s sublime ball into the box found Nworuh on the volley. However, the Nigerian’s effort just missed the left post and he was also deemed off-side.
Kerala, on the counter, managed to ask some questions thanks to some impressive runs from Courage Perkuson. In the 22nd minute, he capitalised on a defensive lapse in the centre-line and set up an easy shot for Jackichand Singh, who made a mess out of it, shooting over the crossbar with only the ’keeper to beat.
In the last 20 minutes, Chennaiyin won a few corners and even a free kick just outside the box, but failed to create any meaningful chance.
The story in the second half remained the same with neither team able to create chances. In the 71st minute Perkuson produced a brilliant shot that needed an acrobatic effort from Chennai goalkeeper Karanjit Singh, diving to his left. In the 80th minute, the Kerala ’keeper produced a one-handed save to block Gregory Nelson’s shot.
In the end, it was a heartbreak for John Gregory’s side, losing two crucial points, though his side moved to the top of the table with 13 points after seven games.
The result: Chennaiyin FC 1 (Rene Mihelic) drew with Kerala Blasters FC 1 (C.K. Vineeth 90+4).