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ISL 5: Delhi, Jamshedpur play out dramatic 2-2 draw

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Delhi: Delhi Dynamos FC’s winless run in Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 continued, after they were held by Jamshedpur FC at the Jawaharlal Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. This was the Lions’ fourth draw of the season, while the other three have ended in losses.

The point also lifted Jamshedpur to the top of the Hero ISL table with 11 points from seven matches.

Delhi head coach Josep Gombau made some big changes in his starting line-up for the match, dropping Pritam Kotal, Rana Gharami, Andrija Kaludjerovic and drafting in the likes of Mohammad Dhot, Rene Mihelic and Daniel Lalhlimpuia. It was an interesting choice for the Spaniard considering Delhi have struggled to score this season, and all the three players left out have been responsible for the three goals the Lions managed prior to Sunday’s fixture.

Both teams tried to start the match on the front foot, pressing their opponents high up the pitch and managed to engineer a few half chances in the first fifteen minutes. Pablo Morgado had a decent chance for Jamshedpur, while Delhi’s Daniel found space inside the box for a free header, but neither managed to test the opposition keeper.

Jamshedpur looked to get behind the Delhi defence using Gourav Mukhi and Michael Soosairaj’s pace, while the Lions relied heavily on Lallianzuala Chhangte to make the forward forays. The visitors enjoyed majority of the possession and created most of the chances.

The breakthrough finally came on the 39th minute after Mukhi played in Cidoncha with an unselfish pass. The Spaniard calmly sidestepped the onrushing defender and slotted the ball in. Mukhi almost doubled the lead four minutes later, but his swerving shot was palmed away by Dorronsoro. The referee blew his whistle for half time, with the away side 1-0 up.

Desperate to get back into the match, Gombau decided to use all his three substitutes at half time. Goalkeeper Dorronsoro made way for Albino Gomes, while Kaludjerovic and Adria Carmona came on for Shubham Sarangi and Rene Mihelic.

Ten minutes into the half, Delhi found the all-important equaliser. Chhangte chased down Robin Gurung’s poor back pass and rounded up Subrata Paul to score. Just three minutes later, Chhangte was in the thick of things yet again. His deflected cross found its way to substitute Carmona, who gleefully headed in to make it 2-1 in Delhi’s favour.

Jamshedpur coach Cesar Ferrando brought on Tim Cahill to restore parity, and the Australian played his part in the away team’s leveller. Delhi defender Gianni Zuiverloon ended up conceding a corner in order to thwart Cahill. The resulting set piece found an unmarked Tiri at the far post and the Spaniard’s diving header found the back of the net.

Cahill’s aerial ability was on show again on the 80th minute when he rose over his marker to get his head to a Soosairaj cross, but Gomes made a good save to deny him. Delhi almost hit back immediately on the other end of the field, but Kaludjerovic’s attempt found Subrata.

With both teams looking for a winner, the game opened up in the final ten minutes. Cidoncha got a chance with four minutes of regulation time remaining, but Gomes pulled off a great save to keep his effort out.

The score remained 2-2 until the final whistle.

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