Chennai [India], Mar.6 (ANI): Shane McFaul netted an injury-time equalizer as DSK Shivajians settled for a 1-1 draw against Chennai City in their I-League clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here last evening.
Though it was Chennai City who took the lead first through Amiri's header (42'), the hosts' profligacy in front of the goal had come back to bite them as McFaul (90+3') volleyed home from close range in the injury time.
V Soundararajan, as he promised before the match, opted to start with all his four foreign recruits as he tried to reverse the South Indian team's fortunes. Marcos Vinicius, Nandhakumar, Clemente and Haroon Amiri came back into the starting lineup.
Dave Rogers, meanwhile, made wholesale changes to the team that was beaten 3-0 by Churchill Brothers last week and brought seven players into the starting XI. Sanju Pradhan, Nirmal Chettri, Seityasen Singh and Lallianzuala Chhangte were among those who were recalled.
Neither team looked fluent in the beginning of the game with no quality chance created in the early exchanges. DSK Shivajians were happy to pass the ball around but lacked a cutting edge in the final third while Chennai City booted the ball up for Charles to chase as often as possible.
First proper chance of the game came in the seventh minute when Ganesh found Amiri who played a delightful one-two with Nandha and then raced down the left wing. He spotted Charles free in the penalty box and attempted a square pass but Subrata read the situation and smothered.
Just past the half-hour mark, Nandha broke free on the right wing and his cross was innovatively headed first time by Amiri, bringing a save from Subrata but before Marcos Vinicius could capitalise, Chettri put in a brilliant tackle.
Soon after, Charles was sent clear on goal by Marcos Vinicius but the Brazilian blasted wide from a one-on-one situation. But with three minutes remaining in the first half, Chennai grabbed the lead. Nandhakumar swung in a corner to the near post where Haroon Amiri was left unmarked. The Afghan midfielder easily directed a header home from close range.
A shocked DSK Shivajians trailed at half-time while Chennai City looked buoyant.
But it was the away side who started the second-half with renewed vigour while Chennai City looked happy to sit back and counter. They did look a threat on the counter with the pace of Charles proving a menace for the DSK defenders.
Five minutes past the hour mark, DSK Shivajians had a golden opportunity to get the lead when Quero played in Seityasen down the left wing. He flashed a low cross which was just out of Chhangte's reach.
In the 71st minute, Chhangte was through on goal but was denied by a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Clemente.
Though Chennai City also had several chances on the counter, the best of which fell to Charles who isolated Sairuat Kima easily and curled a shot straight at Subrata Pal. Anywhere else on target, that would have been a goal.
As DSK Shivajians laid siege to Chennai City's goal, eight minutes of additional time was awarded by the referee. DSK would go on to take full toll of the injury time and got an equaliser in the third minute of injury time.
Charles tried to acrobatically clear a ball inside the penalty box and it looped up off a DSK player and fell straight to an unmarked McFaul who volleyed a first time finish to emphatically snatch a point from the game, leaving Soundararajan shell shocked.
As a result, Chennai continued to remain at the bottom of the table while DSK Shivajians rose to seventh on the table. (ANI)