In the high-octane clash, 10-man Chennaiyin FC managed to play out a 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC who didn’t look at their best on the occasion. With attackers having an off day, Bengaluru failed to take advantage of having an extra man on the field for the last minutes after Chennaiyin FC’s goalkeeper Debjit Majumder received a red card in the 82nd minute.
It was Roy Krishna from Bengaluru FC who opened the scoring at Jawahar Lal Nehru Indoor Stadium with a clinical header in the 4th minute of the game. The home team responded well after conceding an early goal as Prasanth Karuthadathkuni netted an equaliser in the final minutes of the first half to level the scoreline which remained intact till the final whistle.
Meanwhile, the return of top-flight football was off to a grand start as the Chennaiyin faithful painted the city blue as they received the team at the gates of the Marina Arena. Flares on the street and flags on every seat. The scene looked much more familiar after the COVID-imposed hiatus.
Both Chennaiyin and Bengaluru FC managers named an unchanged lineup after their respective opening-round victories as CFC’s match-winner against ATK Mohun Bagan – Kwame Karikari once again started on the bench.
ISL 2022-23 Chennaiyin FC vs Bengaluru FC Match Highlights
Bengaluru FC started with the familiar faces of Sunil Chhetri, Roy Krishna and Sivasakthi Narayanan leading the line as Sandesh Jhingan, Alan Costa and Aleksandar Jovanovic made up the Karnataka team’s back line.
Thomas Brdaric opted for the approach that yielded dividends last time around demonstrating the trust he has in his method. Team owner Abhishek Bachchan warmed up the crowd as the decibel levels went up when the Bollywood actor welcomed the crowd back to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Madras.
The home side kicked the game off shooting from left to right as CFC looked to pile pressure on their opponents and attack right from the offing.
The noise level inside the stadium started to rise as CFC strung a couple of good passes together but were unable to get the ball into a dangerous area as possession changed hands and BFC’s counter earned them a free kick which ultimately went to waste.
Roy Krishna silenced the home crowd with a header past Debjit Majumder following a pin point cross into the box from Sivasakthi Narayanan with 4 minutes played.
The away crowd broke into song as the visiting fans in the stadium chanted ‘Aadu Sandoshake’ as CFC tried to mount a comeback.
Vafa got the Chennai crowd roaring with a gritty challenge to halt BFC’s progress down the right wing.
Chennai had a brilliant chance to level the scoring but Prasanth’s shot was hit straight into the thankful hands of keeper Sandhu who made no mistake of it.
Old Bengaluru boy Ajith Kumar played a dangerous cross after having won the ball back near the halfway line moments earlier. The cross was cleared for a corner, which was in turn headed over the bar.
CFC broke Bengaluru’s attack and tried to hit the counter only to come away with yet another corner, which also went to waste after being overhit.
Chennaiyin gained a freekick after Sliskovic was brought down just outside the box, but Thapa’s hopeful ball in missed its man and another opportunity went begging.
At the 25th-minute mark, the crowd thought CFC had levelled the proceedings as Sliskovic belted a volley from inside the box after the ball fell kindly to him following some good work by Prasanth, but the Croat’s shot came back out off the upright.
Krishna exchanged a few angry words with the referee after the man in the middle denied the Fijian a penalty after being brought down by a hard last-ditch tackle inside the box.
Thapa had a chance with the 35th minute played but chose to play the ball centrally instead of opting to shoot and the ball was cleared out of harm’s way.
Sandhu came up big with a reflexive save to keep Sliskovic out again after the attacker’s header was hit low but ultimately kept out.
A freekick from a dangerous position followed the previous attempt after Thapa was brought down outside the box but German Julius Duker hit it over the bar.
One minute was announced for injuries and stoppages to be added on for the first period and CFC made the most of it as they restored parity.
Prasanth found the back of the net after Sliskovic played him in with a delightful ball before the teams headed into the tunnel.
Simon Grayson made one change to his squad at halftime as he decided to bring in former CFC player Jayesh Rane on for Sivasakthi Narayanan. Sliskovc had two shot saved by the Indian number 1 wearing the colours of the Karnataka team on the day at the start of the second period.
A delightful cross from Narayan Das on the left found Thapa in space but the 24-year-old couldn’t get the finishing touches on the occasion.
Edwin Vanspaul Sydney came on to a vociferous reception when he was subbed in for goal scorer Prasanth while Udanta Singh came on to replace Prabhir Das for the visitors after the hour mark.
Brdaric chose to bring in more reinforcements with the introduction of Kwame Karikari in place of Sliksovic which brought the stadium to its feet.
With no change in the scoreline with 75 minutes played Grayson decided it was time to bring on Spaniard Javi Hernandez for Suresh Singh and Brdaric responded by bringing Khumanthem Ninthoinganba and Jockson Dhas.
Karikari had a shot away at the 78th minute but it lacked bite after the Bengaluru center back took some sting out of it.
Majumder was shown a straight red for his tackle on Roy Krishna after the Fijian was played through.
Defender Vafa was forced to switch his outfield jersey to a goalkeeper’s shirt as CFC were down to ten men.
Four minutes were added on after the completion of the regulation time.
Karikari’s foray into the opposition box after picking the ball up behind the half line had the 12,719 in attendance believe that the home team had pulled off the win, but the Ghanaian’s shot sailed over the woodwork and the score line remained the same.
The referee Crystal King blew his whistle for one last time in the game to bring the curtain down on a very entertaining game of football in which the teams shared the spoil.
Read all the Latest Sports News and Breaking News here