Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC were wasteful upfront as both sides squandered chances aplenty and shared the spoils in a goalless draw in their Indian Super League (ISL 2019-20) clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.
The home side got off to an electric start as Mumbai City goalkeeper Amrinder Singh was pressed into action as early as the 25th second. Lallianzuala Chhangte tore down the left flank to find Rafael Crivellaro, who in turn played it to Andre Schembri. The Maltese forward got a meek shot off, but it bounced off Amrinder and landed kindly for Rafael.
Chennaiyin FC vs Mumbai City FC - as it happened
The Brazilian was gifted with a chance to open the scoring, but Amrinder produced an astonishing reflex save to deny Rafael an open goal. And that went on to set the tone for the game as Amrinder was not to be beaten on the evening.
Chennaiyin went on to dominate the first quarter, but it was all Mumbai City thereon. The Jorge Costa side created a host of chances but failed to convert them. Amine Chermiti, who scored the late winner in Mumbai City's previous tie, endured a poor game as he blew three chances, including a one-on-one with just the keeper.
Meanwhile, Mumbai City needed an early change in personnel as star strike Modou Sougou picked up an injury and was replaced by Serge Kevyn. The Gabonese forward had a chance soon after, as Rowllin Borges played a peach of a lob from midfield. Kevyn beat the offside trap and had just goalkeeper Vishal Kaith to beat, but failed to capitalise as his flick rolled past the target.
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The visiting side came knocking at the home side's goal once again in the 36th minute. In a move that was straight out of the training ground, Mohamed Wael Larbi manned a freekick and played a delicate chip over the wall towards Chermiti. The Tunisian raced to the ball but couldn't get there in time and the chance simply went begging.
At the interval, it was almost tough to believe that the deadlock remained intact as both sides had a bunch of clear chances, but somehow failed to find the back of the net. Amrinder was tested right after the restart, but it was Mumbai City that looked likely to open the scoring.
Second-half substitute Paulo Machado threaded a fine ball in for Kevyn on the left and he struck it first time, but the Chennaiyin goalkeeper had his lines covered. The home side had one last shot at goal when Thoi Singh played an acute cross for Nerijus Valskis in the box, but the Lithuanian's effort was well blocked by Sarthak Golui.
There was late drama as Mumbai City defender Sauvik Chakrabarti was sent off for a second booking in injury time, but it did not change the outcome as both teams walked away with a point each.
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