Chennaiyin took an early lead through Lallianzuala Chhangte, who would go on to set up their second and score their third in the second half. NEUFC equalised through Imran Khan and even took the lead going into the break after a superb strike from Deshorn Brown late in the first half.
Chennaiyin continued to press after the restart, and Chhangte drew a foul inside the box in the 50th minute, leading to a penalty. Manuel Lanzarote converted from the spot to draw level. Chhangte was in the thick of the action a minute later, scoring with a left-footed strike from outside the box to restore Chennaiyin's lead.
But Vishal Kaith's foul on Idrissa Sylla late into second-half injury time handed NorthEast United a lifeline. Top scorer Luis Machado made no mistake from the spot as Khalid Jamil's side snatched point to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.
While a win would have taken them third, the draw keeps NorthEast fifth with 27 points -- level with FC Goa and Hyderabad FC. Their fate remains their own hand still, if they win both their remaining games they will go through, as only one of Goa and Hyderabad can get more than 33 points. They next face SC East Bengal on February 23.
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