In a nail-biting finish, Vineeth's 94th minute equaliser with a sharp cross, allowed Rene Mihelic to give Chennaiyin FC the lead in their Hero Indian Super League match against Kerala Blasters at the Marina Arena here on Friday, with the match ending 1-1.
Until the deadlock was broken, the Blasters had probably gone closest in the second half when Courage Pekuson turned his man and made space for himself to take a stinging shot which Karanjit Singh expertly palmed away. Rachubka had to make a save of his own at the other end from Gregory Nelson's shot.
The save was fitting as it came shortly after he tripped in front of Jeje Lalpekhlua, almost allowing the striker to score. But Jeje stuck a leg out and a foul was given, saving Rachubka's blushes.
Soon after the second half started, Chennaiyin's Lalruatthara's cross deflected off Mailson Alves' head and almost beat his own keeper. But minutes later they created a chance, with Anirudh Thapa, Lalpekhlua and Raphael Augusto combining to set up Francis Fernandes who should have done better than to shoot straight at the keeper.
It was a first half of few chances as Kerala Blasters mostly played on the counter and Chennaiyin in their quick attacking style, with a lot of dominance in the final third. They had 60 percent of the ball in the opening 45 minutes, but the best chance of the half fell to Jackichand Singh. It was a blistering counter-attack which saw CK Vineeth release Courage Pekuson.
With defenders chasing these two attackers, Jackichand was left all alone on the right win. Pekuson found him and the Indian's first touch set him up for a shot which skewed off the outside of his boot and flew into the stands.
With the match drawn, Chennaiyin have 13 points from seven games, on point more than FC Goa, who have two games in hand, and Bengaluru FC.
Meanwhile, the Blasters remain in seventh place with seven points from six matches.