I-League: Mumbai, Chennai City play out goalless draw

The goalless draw keeps Mumbai FC (12 points) in a tense state, as it sticks to the bottom of the table with two home games remaining.

Thoi Singh in action against the Chennai City defenders.

Frenzied attempts by Mumbai FC for goals and victory proved elusive against a resolute Chennai City FC at the Cooperage ground here on Sunday. The goalless draw keeps the home team (12 points) in a tense state, as it sticks to the bottom of the table with two home games remaining. For the visitor, two chances towards the close did not go in and one point earned is small consolation as Chennai City occupies eighth in the 10-team league.

CCFC opted to soak up the pressure in the first half, retained defensive formation in the face of pressure on goal right through and tried to draw out rival defenders with passing bouts in the rival half. Karanjit Singh under the bar displayed sparkling form. The host’s chunky striker Thoi Singh took a snap attempt off a rebound. The ball had rolled back off the defensive wall following a try by Djelaluddin Sharityar.

MFC tested Karanjit twice in the first half; first a stunning carpet drive by Karan Sawhney resulted in the ball reaching the right post when the CCFC custodian blocked in time with a dive. Farukh Choudhary, another young striker getting noticed this season for decisive action and fast feet, twisted himself into position for a shot, but was denied his reward.

After an action-packed first half, fatigue resulted in loss of ball possession and errors in passing. MFC got two direct free-kicks just outside the box. Substitute Steven Dias curled the first past the wall but Karanjit had read the move well and shifted into position for a low save. The second free-kick floated way off target, Alex Silva the culprit this time. CCFC made better use of space after resumption, as a tiring MFC slipped into errors only to be rescued by the post.

Charles de Souza and Soosairaj attempted to score once each, the post stopped a shot from the former and the ball struck Yumnam Raju and bounced out. The latter came up with a try on the move, after surging forward and the ball thundered into the goalpost and bounced away from danger. The visitor remained satisfied with a points split after coming close to scoring, against the run of play.

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