Chennaiyin FC played out a goalless draw against Colombo FC in its 2019 AFC Cup qualifying playoff round first-leg tie at the Colombo Race Course Ground on Wednesday. The two sides will battle it out once again when they clash in the second leg at The Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad on March 13.

The home side came into the tie after a 9-2 aggregate thrashing of Bhutan outfit Transport United but found no way past the reigning Indian Super League champion.

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Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory chose to leave out Australian defender Chris Herd and began with a backline consisting of Laldinliana Renthlei, Eli Sabia, skipper Mailson Alves, and Tondonba Singh. The defence was rarely troubled, except for the occasional runs from Colombo midfielder Isaac Addevu.

Chennaiyin’s attack, led by Jeje Lalpekhlua, looked below par and failed to trouble the opposition goalkeeper. The side won its first corner of the tie in the dying stages of the first half, but it was not converted.

Isaac caught Chennaiyin custodian Karanjit Singh off-guard in the 74th minute with a shot from distance, but his attempt sailed just above the crossbar. Substitute Thoi Singh then played a lovely through-ball to C. K. Vineeth with a minute left on the clock, but the latter was adjudged offside.