After their back-to-back defeats at the hands of FC Goa and Mumbai City FC, Delhi Dynamos were searching for a win to boost their confidence but yet again had to settle for a draw in the match which also saw their head coach Harm van Veldhoven being sent off.
The Dutch coach was given marching orders by Indian referee Pranjal Banerjee for kicking the ball at the sidelines as he expressed his frustration apparently after a free kick was denied in the 74th minute of the match watched by nearly 35,000 crowd at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Delhi side's birthday boy Alessandro Del Piero made the starting eleven but the Italian legend, who turns 40 today, continued his search for form as he could not make much of an impact in the match. He was involved in a few goal-bound moves but ended up being booked in the 37th minute.
He was substituted in the 72nd minute by Pavel Elias. Both teams played attacking football though there were not many goal-scoring chances. Their defences held firm with the match turning out to be a battle of midfield supremacy. With the draw, their fourth in the tournament so far, Delhi Dynamos remained on seventh spot in the eight-team league table with seven points from seven matches.
They have won just one match and lost twice. They have not won for four matches on the trot. Kerala Balsters are just above the Delhi side at sixth spot with eight points from seven matches.
They have won twice, drawn twice and lost thrice. The match got off to a lively start with both teams getting immediately into attack mode. Delhi settled into their passing game, while Kerala drove forward with pace.
The home side were nearly gifted a goal when the visitors gave away possession just outside their own box. Their keeper Kristof Van Hout and defender Shouvik Ghosh, however, saved the situation. Van Hout got a hand on Stephen Pearson's cutback and Ghosh was there to clear the ball.