Two-time champions Chennaiyin FC were held to a goalless draw by SC East Bengal in Match 63 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. Chances were few and far between for both the teams as SC East Bengal’s Ajay Chettri received his marching orders right after the half hour mark.
The first half was largely played in the middle of the park, with either side’s defence not being tested often. Chennaiyin came the closest to scoring but Bosnian defender Enes Sipovic headed the ball over the crossbar. In the 31st minute, SC East Bengal were reduced to 10 men after Chhetri was shown a second yellow for a challenge on Rahim Ali.
After the red card, SC East Bengal kept their defensive shape to close down any spaces for the Marina Machans in the second half. Esmael Goncalves forced the first save of the second period after the forward’s attempted shot from outside the box was parried away by Debjit in the 57th minute. Chennaiyin goalkeeper Vishal Kaith was also in top form at the other end as he saved a shot from Anthony Pilkington.
Debjit then denied Rahim in the 70th minute after the forward was played in by Goncalves. At the other end two minutes later, Pilkington again came close with a long-range effort but his shot went just over the crossbar.
The next clear chance of the game for Chennaiyin FC fell to Indian winger Lallianzuala Chhangte but his shot was kept out of goal by Debjit in the 84th minute. As the match came to a close, Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev tried a shot from outside the box but Debjit was in the right place yet again as both sides shared the points.
ISL Media Release