Bengaluru and Chennaiyin played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. Two-time champions Chennaiyin came back from behind to level the game after conceding very early as Fijian striker Roy Krishna opened the scoring with a header in the fourth minute.
Bengaluru started off brightly, as they snatched an early lead. Young winger Sivasakthi Narayanan delivered an excellent cross to new signing Krishna, who delightfully headed it in, scoring his first goal for the club.
Chennai were shocked into action after Bengaluru’s opener, as their engines started to fire. The Chennaiyin build-up play was excellent, albeit against a dormant Bengaluru midfield, which seemed to totally lack any sort of spark. Chennaiyin had complete control of the middle of the park, which naturally translated into a number of chances for the hosts.
However, their attack was shockingly wasteful, missing many simple chances. German midfielder Julius Duker and Croatian centre-forward Petar Sliskovic should have put their side in front but failed to do so. Finally, winger Prasanth Karuthadathkuni finished a simple chance in first-half stoppage time.
Bengaluru were better in the second half but nevertheless seemed to be rattled by the introduction of Kwame Karikari, who was on the back of a match-winning performance against ATK Mohun Bagan. The Ghanaian forward, however, failed to live up to the expectations, missing a couple of sitters as the two sides remained locked together.
Up until the last few minutes, the game was played in very good spirits. All that changed when Chennaiyin goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar committed a blatant foul on Krishna, who was clear through on goal just outside the box to earn a red card. Nevertheless, ne managed to stop Bengaluru not just from scoring an almost certain goal and also from preventing a penalty. The last few minutes of the encounter were tense, but matters ended all square.