Chennai City holds Shillong Lajong to goalless draw

Chennai City FC warded off a spirited challenge from host Shillong Lajong FC before holding the latter to a goalless draw in a I-League encounter here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday.

The best chance for CCFC came in the 71st minute when its right-winger Alexander Jesuraj set up Joachim again inside the Lajong box but the Frenchman fluffed the opportunity. File photo   -  I League

Chennai City FC warded off a spirited challenge from host Shillong Lajong FC before holding the latter to a goalless draw in a I-League encounter here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday. Following its win against Mohun Bagan in the earlier round, CCFC continued its tour of the east with substantial success picking up a point from its eighth round outing.

With the wintery chill of the hill capital of Meghalaya and the artificial turf of the venue posing additional challenges, CCFC appeared to be working on a defensive plan against the host, which field six under-22 players.

Two scattered attempts from distance are what CCFC could recall in its offensives in the opening session. The first came in the seventh minute off central half Pandiyan Sinivasan, who punched a drive from top of the box just to see the host's custodian Phurba Lachenpa making the save. The second attack came in the 37th minute when captain Soosai Raj fired an angular effort from the left. This again reached the safe hands of Lachenpa frustrating CCFC’s efforts at finding the lead.

Shillong Lajong enjoyed the home support and played a more creative game with its wingers, especially Alan Deory keeping a regular supply of crosses inside the CCFC box. But a goal failed to materialise for the host as Abdoulaye Koffi, the lone striker it employed upfront, appeared late in reaching most of the provisions coming from his colleagues in midfield.

Looking to make more inroads after the break CCFC pressed for speedy counter-attacks. The visitor had a chance around the hour mark when its centre-back Venjamin Shumeiko found French striker Jean Joachim with a long freekick. The latter attempted a glancing header just to see the ball sailing wide.

The best chance for CCFC came in the 71st minute when its right-winger Alexander Jesuraj set up Joachim again inside the Lajong box but the Frenchman fluffed the opportunity mistiming his attempt that saw the ball going wide off target.

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