Kerala Blasters’ star player C K Vineeth’s strike in stoppage time helped his team cancel out a 87th minute penalty by Rene Mihelic and secure a 1-1 draw against Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League in Chennai on Friday.
After a rather uneventful first half which saw the Blasters miss a chance to go ahead when Jackichand Singh fired over the post, the second saw a lot more action with the two goals coming in the last five minutes.
The game’s first goal came after a penalty was awarded to the home side. The referee deemed Sandesh Jhingan to have handled the ball and pointed to the spot after Francisco Fernandes’ shot appeared to be headed towards the target.
Slovenian Mihelic converted without much fuss to give Chennaiyin the lead in the 89th minute.
When it looked the former champions were set for another win and three more points, Vineeth found the net for the Kerala team. Captain Jhingan atoned for his mistake of conceding the penalty with a superb cross to an unmarked Vineeth, who slotted home past Karanjit Singh, three minutes into additional time.
The first half saw the two teams go at each other in search of a goal, but in vain. The Blasters had the best chance in the 22nd minute, but Jackichand muffed it.
Courage Pekuson passed the ball to Jackichand, who was unmarked inside the box. The Indian took his time to settle and size up a shot but blasted his effort over the post.
Though Chennaiyin had a greater share of the possession right through the game and more shots on target, the match always appeared to be even.
In the 72nd minute, Pekuson had an opportunity to break the deadlock but his shot was saved by a diving Karanjit.