Chennai City FC holds Mohun Bagan to goalless draw
Coimbatore, Feb 7 (PTI) Mohun Bagan slipped further in the I-League title race, after being held to a goalless draw by Chennai City FC here tonight.
Akram Moghrabi missed a penalty in the 82nd minute as Bagan's woes were compounded on a tough day for the Kolkata giants.
Sankarlal Chakraborty went into the game with just one change to his starting lineup that defeated Shillong Lajong 3-0 on February 3.
Raynier Fernandes replaced Yuto Kinowaki in midfield.
Akram Moghrabi and Asier Dipanda were paired up front.
Azharuddin Mallick and Nikhil Kadam offered width from the flanks as Cameron Watson and Raynier Fernandes slotted into the central midfield.
Chennai City FC coach V Soundararajan shuffled his pack around as new recruits got their chance to prove their mettle.
Aleksander Rakic supported under-fire striker Jean Micheal Joachim upfront. Soosairaj played in behind with veteran Asif Kottayil acting as the screen in midfield.
Mohun Bagan could have opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute if Azharuddin Mallick hadnt failed to tap the ball in from close-range.
Raynier Fernandes run into the box was intercepted but the ball fell to Dipanda who left it for Mallick to slot home. However, the winger blasted the ball over the crossbar from only a few yards out.
A timid midfield display followed soon after the early chance with both sides reluctant to take risks.
Aleksander Rakic's free-kick effort around the wall in the 27th minute had Shilton Paul dive to his right to produce a very good save.
Cameron Watsons weak pass back to Shilton alerted Joachim but the forward, who rounded the keeper well, could only hit the side-netting.
Soon after the restart, Shilton Paul was called into action again as Rakic stepped up and sent his brilliant free-kick effort towards the top right corner of the net.
Uros Polijanec was injured by a trailing boot of Faiaz inside the box and was replaced by Kabir midway through the second half.
The substitute goalkeeper was called into action when Tarif tripped Dipanda inside the box. Akram's spot-kick was kept out by Kabir to keep the scoreline intact.
Edwin Vanspaul was booked and sent off for dissent in the dying moments but Chennai City held on till the final whistle to share points with Mohun Bagan.
Chennai City will now host Shillong Lajong on February 11