Chennaiyin FC could only manage a draw against bottom-placed Delhi Dynamos and were forced to comeback from a goal down as Mailson Alves’ header cancelled out Kalu Uche’s earlier penalty.
Delhi, playing at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, had the first chance of a rather cagey opening period when Lallianzuala Chhangte squared his pass into the penalty area. The Indian youngster’s delivery though was slightly behind Paulinho Dias, whose effort was wide of the target.
The Lions nearly fell behind to an own goal in the 16th minute when Gregory Nelson’s ball to Francisco Fernandes was headed back towards the Delhi custodian by Munmun Lugun. His header, however, forced his own goalkeeper into a save as the hosts breathed a sigh of relief.
The visitors then had a golden opportunity to take the lead on the brink of half-time. Jaime Gavilan played a lovely ball to Nelson for the Dutchman to give Chennai the lead. With just the goalkeeper to beat, Nelson somehow failed to find the back of the net as the sides went into the break without breaking the deadlock.
Chennai had a chance of taking the lead soon after the restart. A lapse by the Delhi goalkeeper saw the ball come invitingly for Gavilan. The Spaniard passed the ball to Jeje Lalpekhlua, who found Raphael Augusto for the Brazilian to fire his shot high and wide.
The southerners had another chance to score the opener in the 54th minute after Jerry Lalrinzuala got to the byline and crossed for Gavilan. The Spaniard hit his effort on target, but the Delhi goalkeeper saved with his feet to deny Chennai this time around.
The Dynamos took the lead soon after through the penalty spot. Matías Mirabaje was brought down in the box by Augusto as the referee pointed for a spot-kick. The Delhi skipper Uche stepped up to the spot and converted successfully to give his side a lead.
Chennai though fought back valiantly and kept putting pressure on Delhi in search of an equaliser. They finally scored the leveller nine minutes from full-time after Rene Mihelic’s set-piece was misjudged by the Delhi goalkeeper for Alves to head into an empty and make it 1-1 as the match ended all square.
The visitors remained in fourth place, three points clear of the Blasters while the Dynamos were mathematically knocked out of play-off contention, and remain bottom with eight points.