Chennai City 1-1 Churchill Brothers: The Red Machines bounce back after two defeats

GOAL.COM|14-Feb-2017 22:10

Chennai City were brought down to the ground after a 1-1 draw against Churchill Brothers who themselves broke their two match losing streak at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai.

After a dour first half, Brandon Fernandes had given the away side the lead in the 63rd minute only to see it cancelled out a couple of minutes later by Chennai's Charles de Souza.

V. Soundararajan named an unchanged lineup as he went with the players that defeated Mumbai FC on Saturday. Michael Rejin was again handed a start while Charles de Souza led the lines for the South Indian side as the new coach looked to continue his perfect run.

Churchill Brothers, on the other hand, made as much as four changes to the team that lost at Aizawl. In came Priyant Singh, Satish Singh, Suraj and Brandon Fernandes while Kromah and Wolfe led the lines for the Red Machine. 

After surviving a scare in their penalty box from a corner which was headed down by Dhanpal Ganesh in the early moments of the game, Churchill grew into the contest and fashioned the first shot on goal in the ninth minute. Brandon lined up a freekick from about 35 yards and let rip a low, piledriver which was just about kept out by Shahinlal in the Chennai goal. 

Edwin Vanspaul had a good chance to score for the home side which went begging just after five minutes while Churchill had a goal ruled out for offside in the 22nd minute. After Shahinlal spilled a cross from Chesterpoul Lyngdoh, Kromah capitalised and got a shot away which was on target. The linesman though deemed that Anthony Wolfe had interfered with the shot from an offside position and ruled the goal out, much to the chagrin of the Churchill players. 

There were a few more half chances in the first half, most notable being when Charles was sent through on goal only to see Priyant Singh come off his line to smother effectively. Brandon Fernandes also saw another freekick from the left wing go just over the cross bar as the half finished goalless. 

The second half started off on a sedate note before Churchill took the lead in the 63rd minute when Echezona was penalised for a handball just outside the area. Brandon Fernandes stood over the freekick and curled in an absolute beauty that went in off the post, sending the away bench into ecstasy. 

However, their joy did not last long, in fact it only lasted all of two minutes. Chennai City equalised after good work from Marcos Vinicius, who came on as a second-half substitute. He picked the ball up in midfield and sent in a defence splitting through ball that was chested down by Charles and then poked home from close range, despite Priyant getting a hand to it. 

There were chances for both teams later to notch the winner but it was wasted at both ends. Priyant reacted well to smother a one-on-one attempt from Marcos Thank while Shahinlal was forced to palm away a well-struck shot from the tireless Kromah, who ran his heart out on the night. 

However, both teams slackened the pace of the game in the final 10 minutes or so and seemed intent on not losing a point rather than winning all three. 

Ultimately, the draw takes Churchill to six points and to eighth place on goal difference while Chennai City remain a spot above on seventh, with eight points in nine games. 

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