Delhi Dynamos played out a 1-1 draw with NorthEast United FC in a seventh round Indian Super League (ISL) fixture at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday. Richard Gadze (37') opened the scoring before Simao Sabrosa's (72') free-kick made it all square.
The hosts made two changes to the side that came out victorious against Atletico de Kolkata as marquee signing and head coach Roberto Carlos made his first start in the Indian Super League (ISL). Sehnaj Singh filled the void left by the suspended Sovik Chakrabarti. Club captain Chicao failed to make it into the matchday squad due to an injury.
Cesar Farias made as many as five changes with Nicolas Velez and Simao Sabrosa benched while Diomansy Kamara and Francis Dadzie deployed upfront.
It was the away side that took control of the proceedings as Sanju Pradhan cut in from the left to fire a shot from the edge of the box, but the midfielder saw his effort miss the target by a whisker.
Dynamos could hardly adjust to the pace of the game in the initial minutes as their sloppy passes and poor control saw NorthEast dominate the proceedings.
Minutes later, Seityasen Singh easily cut past his marker Sehnaj to whip in the cross for Dadzie, but the Ghanaian saw his header just miss the top corner.
Farias's side continued to pile on the pressure and it was through a corner that they came the closest to scoring, but Kamara's header came off the crossbar.
The first booking of the game came in the 23rd minute when Robin Singh brought down Cedric Hengbart with a malicious tackle.
Dynamo's best moment of the game came at the half hour mark with marquee player Carlos showing a burst of pace from the midfield to open up the NorthEast defense, releasing Francis on the right but the Indian midfielder saw his effort blaze over the crossbar.
NorthEast then came inches close to scoring the first goal of the game but were denied by the brilliance of Antonio Doblas. The goalkeeper made a double save, first denying Pradhan, then Dadzie on the follow-up and then Kamara's effort was off target.
It was against the run of play that Delhi finally scored the opening goal of the game in the 37th minute through a fine combination play by Malouda and Gadze. The former Chelsea winger did well to release the African from the left who put the ball past a charging Rehenesh into the right bottom corner.
The second half kicked off in similar fashion with NorthEast dominating the proceedings from the start, putting Delhi on the back foot.
Pradhan was the first to test Doblas this time as his looping ball was heading straight towards goal, but the Spaniard's safe hands made sure there was not much to worry about.
Raju was brought down by Anas on the edge of the box and Silas’resulting free-kick came off the crossbar.
The away side were once again denied by the woodwork in the 61st minute. Dadzie was played onside by Riise and his effort came off the post as Doblas was left stranded as he appealed for offside instead of making a save.
The Highlanders continued to pile on the pressure in search of an equaliser but Doblas's fine performance saw Delhi keep their lead intact.
Mulder brought down Kamara on the edge of the box and Farias took the opportunity to send in his marquee star Simao in place of Silas.
The former Barcelona winger stepped up to take the free-kick and scored from his first touch of the ball with Doblas being rooted to his spot.
Velez in the dying seconds of the game found himself unmarked from a Pradhan cross but the Argentine's tame effort saw the ball land straight into the hands of Doblas.
That was the final action of the game as both the teams shared the spoils. The point puts Carlos's men level on points with FC Pune City at the top but Farias will be disappointed as they should have picked full points for being the better of the two teams all evening.
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