Chennaiyin FC draws 2-2 against Army Red
IMPHAL: Chennaiyin FC played out a 2-2 draw against Army Red FT in its opening match of the Durand Cup 2022 at the Khuman Lampak stadium here on Saturday.
For Chennaiyin, Julius Duker (89th) and Edwin Vanaspaul scored late (90+4th) while L Khongsai (55th) and Liton Shil (90+6th) scored for the Armymen. Chennayin fielded eight new players in its starting line-up in — Ajith Kumar, Fallou Diagne, Aakash Sangwan, Duker, Sajal Bag, Jiteshwar Suingh, Jockson Dhas, and Petar Sliskovic — while skipper Anirudh Thapa, goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar and Narayan Das were the old faces.
After a slow start, Thomas Brdaric’s men eased into the game and dominated proceedings for most of it.
Croatian forward Sliskovic was played through by Jiteshwor but his shot sailed over the crossbar.
Thapa then made a lunging effort right at the brink of half time but the Army Red custodian showed good reflexes to deny the two-time ISL champion as both the sides failed to break the deadlock at half time.
Army Red broke the deadlock through L Khongsai’s header from a corner 10 minutes after the change of ends.
Trailing by a goal, Chennaiyin changed gears in a bid to find the much-needed equaliser in the final quarter of the game.
In the 69th minute, Duker’s shot hit a flurry of red shirts to deny Chennayin a way back into the contest.
A couple of minutes later, Sliskovic got a double chance inside the box but failed to find the back of the net.
The final moments of the match witnessed heart-thumping action as three goals were scored in a span of 10 minutes.
Duker scored the equaliser for Chennaiyin from Thapa’s corner in the 89th minute.
Edwin Vanasapaul scored his first goal for the club to hand Chennayin the lead with a thunderous volley from outside the box.
But two minutes later Liton Shil equalised for Army Red to draw curtains on the nail-biting contest.