I-League: Chennai City plays out goalless draw against Mohun Bagan

Chennai City FC was in a rampaging mood for a win from the start but had to settle for a goalless draw against Mohun Bagan in the Hero I-League clash.

Chennai City FC played attacking football but were held to a goalless draw by Mohun Bagan.   -  J. Manoharan

Chennai City FC was in a rampaging mood for a win from the start but had to settle for a goalless draw against Mohun Bagan in the Hero I-League clash at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.

The team's experiment to dish out some foreign flavour for the first time this season worked well. And the Bagan boys were kept busy right through. Only the other day, Sankarlal Chakraborty, the Bagan coach, said it's going to be tough. And, it turned out to be in many ways.

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Bagan played an attacking game early and even threatened to score on a couple of occasions but an alert CCFC custodian Uros Poljanec came up with some stunning saves.

The new recruit Donghyeon Kim from Korea was a live wire for City. It made a huge difference in the attack for the team. In the 25th minute, City did get its chance when Nikhil Kadam fouled Edwin Vanspaul on the run and the referee was quick to blow the whistle. And, Aleksandar Rakic from Serbia, hammered in a thundering left-footer which Shilton Paul pulled it off with a magnificent dive to his right. And that further sent jittery moments in the Bagan camp.

City followed soon with another big threat in the 37th minute. A huge lapse in defence and Jean Joachim was quick to grab the opportunity.

With the goalkeeper rushing out, the Frenchman had to just slide the ball in. He did that only to find the side of the net. The second session was evenly paced with both teams going for the goal

and missing many. But City suffered a big jolt when a charging Faiz of Bagan kicked an on-rushing Uros on the face. The Slovenian, who showed a brave front saving some bombshells that were fired at him, had to leave the field.

And Kabir who replaced him did a great job as well guarding the net. With time ticking out, both teams went flat out but one desperate move to stop a free-flowing Bagan forward from just outside the box resulted in the referee showing the penalty spot. And that sparked anger among the City players and also brought the play to a halt. It was officiating at its worst and it was there for everybody to see. But Kabir dived on time to save a powerful Akram Moghirabi's shot. And the crowd heaved a huge sigh of relief.

After a few minutes of stoppage in play due to poor refereering decisions, City hung in there boldly to get a point.

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