ISL 2020-21: Esmael Goncalves scores late equaliser as Chennaiyin FC hold league-leaders Mumbai City FC

However, the result meant the Islanders extended their unbeaten run to 12 games, matching FC Goa's record.

Press Trust of India January 25, 2021 23:16:13 IST
ISL 2020-21: Esmael Goncalves scores late equaliser as Chennaiyin FC hold league-leaders Mumbai City FC

Esmael Ruti Tavares Cruz Da Silva Goncalves of Chennaiyin FC takes a penalty kick during match 71 of the 7th season of the Hero Indian Super League between Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC held at the GMC Stadium Bambolim, Goa, India on the 25th January 2021 Photo by Vipin Pawar/ Sportzpics for ISL

Bambolim: A terrible late error in the box by Ahmed Jahouh and Chennai's improved second-half display helped them hold Mumbai City FC to a 1-1 draw in the Hero Indian Super League on Monday.

However, the result meant the Islanders extended their unbeaten run to 12 games, matching FC Goa's record.

Mumbai grabbed the lead through Bartholomew Ogbeche (21st minute) but his goal was cancelled out by Esmael Goncalves (76th) as Chennaiyin rallied to earn a hard-fought point.

The opening 45 minutes were nothing short of entertainment with both the sides creating ample chances and testing each other. However, Mumbai proved more clinical than their opponents in the attacking third and deservedly led at the break.

Chennaiyin dominated the opening exchanges and created a chance as early as in the second minute.

Goncalves won the ball in midfield and played Thoi Singh on the right flank, whose cross was flicked by Mourtada Fall just outside the box. It fell towards Lallianzuala Chhangte who unleashed a shot on his weaker foot which was parried away by Amrinder Singh.

Another chance went begging for Chennaiyin, this time from a set-piece. Chhangte whipped a dangerous cross through a corner for Eli Sabia, who got a free header but saw his effort sail over the crossbar.

Those missed opportunities would haunt Chennaiyin as Mumbai broke the deadlock. The Islanders have scored the most goals from set-pieces this season and opened the scoring in a similar fashion.

After Amey Ranawade's throw was cleared away poorly, Rowllin Borges found Bipin Singh on the left. The winger delivered a delicious cross at the far post for Ogbeche, who thumped a brilliant header to notch his fifth goal of the season. That was his 32nd Hero ISL goal as he overtook Marcelinho to climb to third on the all-time scoring charts.

Chennaiyin began the second half strongly in search of an equaliser but neither side was able to fashion clear-cut chances as the game progressed.

However, they were fortunate to win a penalty after an error from Ahmed Jahouh. The midfielder was deemed to have tripped Jakub Sylvestr in the box. Goncalves stepped up to take the spot-kick and sent Amrinder the wrong way to draw Chennaiyin level.

Mumbai piled on the pressure in the last quarter of the game but Chennaiyin's defense stood tall to deny their opponents any chance of finding a winner.

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