Goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro delivered a masterclass as Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin FC played out an engaging goalless stalemate in the Hero Indian Super League 2018 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday.
Chennaiyin FC had the better chances but could not beat the Spanish goalkeeper who refused to concede with brilliant saves throughout the match. The visitors couldn´t get a breakthrough but the point earned lifts them from the bottom of the table. The teams are still searching for their first win of the season.
Andrea Orlandi could have opened the scoring for Chennaiyin FC as early as the second minute of the match. The midfielder rose the highest to head a corner kick from Isaac V but Dorronsoro got down low to pull off a stunning reflex save.
Raphael Augusto then looked to be in the mood to score as the trickster surged up the field from midfield before taking aim from 40 yards. His piledriver lacked enough force to trouble Dorronsoro.
The Delhi goalkeeper was called into action again five minutes from half-time. A defence-splitting through-ball by Augusto released Carlos Salom behind the backline. The striker squared the ball to an unmarked Thoi Singh who took a touch before sending a powerful strike that was kept out.
Delhi´s first shot of the game came at the stroke of half-time. Lallianzuala Chhangte beat his marker on the left flank, burst forward before crossing perfectly towards Andrija Kaludjerovic. The striker headed the ball first-time and forced goalkeeper Karanjit Singh to a save.
The visitors threatened again soon after the restart. Carlos Salom´s first-touch to receive Augusto´s through ball from midfield was wonderful but the same could not be said for the end product as the striker sent the ball wide.
The hosts were struggling to find gaps at the other end. Kaludjerovic cut an isolated figure up front and crosses into the box were dealt well by the Chennaiyin backline.
The defending champions had a glorious chance to score a breakthrough goal in the 70th minute when a cleared corner kick turned into a counter-attack. Augusto released Isaac into space down the left flank. The winger surged forward and squared the ball to an unmarked Salom whose shot was brilliantly saved by the onrushing goalkeeper.
The Delhi custodian put on a fine show under the bar. The Spaniard flew out from his line to punch away a delightful cross from the left by Thoi as the Lions held on for a point.
Full-time: Delhi Dynamos 0-0 Chennaiyin FC
89: Yellow card Jeje Lalpekhlua
88: Substitution Carlos Daniel Salom Zulema OFF Jeje Lalpekhlua IN
77: Substitution for Delhi Dynamos, Bikramjit Singh OFF Daniel Lalhlimpuia IN
76: Substitution for Chennaiyin FC, Andrea Orlandi OFF Gregory Nelson IN
73: Substitution for Delhi Dynamos, Rene MiheliC OFF Vinit Rai Chamling IN
60: Substitution for Delhi Dynamos, Andrija Kaludjerovic OFF Adria Carmona IN
Chennaiyin FC line-up: Karanjit Singh (GK); Francisco Fernandes, Inigo Calderon, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Andrea Orlandi, Anirudh Thapa; Thoi Singh, Raphael Augusto, Isaac Vanmalsawma; Carlos Salom.