Odisha FC and Chennaiyin FC played out a 2-2 draw in a Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Tilak Maidan stadium in Vasco, Goa on Wednesday as the share of spoils all but ended the semi-final hopes of both teams.
Rahim Ali (2’) gave Chennaiyin FC an early lead in the contest but goals from Javi Hernandez (18’) and Jonathas (51’) put Odisha FC in the lead. Nerijus Valskis (69’) then scored his first goal since returning to Chennaiyin FC as the Marina Machans drew level. Neither team could strike the decisive blow as the two sides split the points.
Chennaiyin FC got off to the best possible start in the match as Ali scored after two minutes after the rebound from a Valskis blocked shot fell kindly for him at the far post.
Odisha FC’s response to falling behind early was a good one as they slowly got into the game and equalised in the 18th minute after Hernandez and Jonathas combined allowing the former to send a looping effort into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
The game lost its fizz after the two early goals as the two teams cancelled each other out.
Ariel Borysiuk came closest to a second goal for Chennaiyin FC as his long-range effort in the 43rd minute flew just wide of the target.
Both teams went into the break level at 1-1.
Odisha FC came out of the blocks quickly in the second half as Debjit Majumder denied Jonathas with a fine save in the 50th minute.
However, he was helpless a minute later as Odisha FC took the lead after Jonathas scored from close range after a goalmouth scramble.
Kino Garcia’s men were on top and they came close to adding to their lead through Jonathas and Jerry Mawihmingthanga but they couldn’t profit from those chances around the hour mark.
They were made to pay for it as Valskis drew Chennaiyin FC level in the 69th minute with a well-taken header.
The game opened up as both teams desperately chased a goal that would give them three points but neither team could make the breakthrough.
The draw meant Odisha FC stayed seventh, three points behind fourth-placed Jamshepdur FC but having played three games more than Owen Coyle’s men.
Chennaiyin too remained in eighth, two points behind Odisha FC.
The Marina Machans take on Jamshedpur FC next on Sunday. As for Kino garcia’s side they face Bengaluru FC, a day later.
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