NorthEast United FC maintained its slow but steady progress in the Indian Super League, moving up to second place after a goalless draw against Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Saturday.
Both the defences were resolute and denied many clear chances for the forwards over 90 minutes.
The hard-earned point consolidated Jamshedpur’s fourth spot and preserved its unbeaten run at home this season.
The teams began by passing and prodding and the first chance came when a hopeful punt by Memo for Pablo Morgado allowed the winger to slip in between Robert Lalthlamuana and Mislav Komorski to dribble into the box. The Spanish winger struck a sweet shot that flew inches wide of the post.
Both defences stayed compact and made it hard for the opposing strikers to make runs in behind the backline. Clear-cut chances were few and far between in the first half.
Bartholomew Ogbeche chested a ball down into the path of Rowllin Borges inside the box in the 12th minute. But the midfielder lashed the ball over the bar.
Mario Arques’ effort in the 22nd minute was also similar. The midfielder pounced on a loose ball and unleashed a strike from 30 yards out but failed to trouble Pawan Kumar in the NorthEast goal.
In the second half, Federico Gallego and Provat Lakra combined well on the right flank and caused a nervy moment for the home side inside the box in the 57th minute. The former teased a ball towards the far post and Tiri produced an overhead kick to clear the ball away from danger.
A minute later, Gallego surged into the box and sent a powerful shot at the goal that forced the game’s first save, off Jamshedpur custodian Subrata Paul.
At the other end, Memo was treated to a fine chance inside the box from a corner kick in the 61st minute. The delivery into the box found Memo in the centre but Gallego’s sliding block denied the midfielder a goal.
In the 70th minute, Farukh Choudhary sprinted down the right flank and fed the ball to Mobashir Rahman, who was positioned at the edge of the box. The young midfielder hit a dipping volley that flew inches over the crossbar.
Ogbeche had a late chance to get a winner after Tiri lost the ball in a dangerous area but the Nigerian’s weak attempt was blocked away as the teams settled for a point each.
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