Chennaiyin FC’s winless run extended to five games as it settled for a goalless draw against ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) in an Indian Super League fixture at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.
The home side dominated the early exchanges, with ATKMB’s attacking threat mostly limited to set-piece opportunities.
The first big chance of the game came in the first half for Anirudh Thapa, after a flighted cross by right-back Ajith Kumar found him unmarked at the ATKMB back post. But the Chennaiyin skipper could only place his side-footed volley wide of the goal.
The game opened up in the second half, with both teams finding it easier to bypass their opponent’s defence.
ATKMB’s best moment of the game came soon after the restart when Liston Colaco combined with Hugo Boumous to go through on goal. The winger managed to get his shot away, but it was saved by Chennaiyin goalkeeper Samik Mitra, who had a composed day between the sticks,
Chennaiyin attacker Vincy Barretto was the primary attacking outlet for his side, as the Mariners’ defence found it hard to cope with the relentless running of the Goan.
Both managers tried to shake things up with changes, but a goal couldn’t be found, for either side, as the game dragged out into a stalemate.
“Before the season, if you told me we will take four points from ATKMB, I would have been a happy man. I am proud we are competing with teams like them. A draw is not bad, but we can improve. We have six games left and I believe we will get opportunities to win matches,” said Chennaiyin coach Thomas Brdaric in the post-match press conference.
The draw meant Chennaiyin continued to be eighth in the league, with a three-point gap between it and the last play-off spot, currently occupied by FC Goa. With the point earned today, ATKMB inched closer to Kerala Blasters in third, with a point separating the two sides.
“This was a difficult match for us. We had some chances. Chennaiyin also had three or four clear chances. Both teams wanted the win and the three points. But it is a draw and one point for everybody. It is not good for us, because we are not in the best shape right now,” said ATKMB coach Juan Ferrando, whose side has failed to score for the second game running.