I-League: Dempo SC and Mumbai FC play out goalless draw
Both teams had chances to score but neither Mumbai FC, nor Dempo were clinical on the day.
Dempo SC and Mumbai FC played a goalless draw that did not alter the fortunes of any team in their relegation battle of the I-League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao on Sunday afternoon.
Dempo survived some early pressure from Mumbai FC, chiefly due to their own negligence while dealing with aerial balls. Whenever Mumbai FC crossed the ball into the danger area for Dempo, there was panic and the hosts were lucky not to be down by an early goal.
Josimar Martins da Silva saw his header being saved by goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani and another header from Mohammad Rafi was wide of the target.
Dempo took some time to get into the groove and it was left to Tolgay Ozbey to show off his moves. The Australian striker was working his way nicely on the left flank and in one such move when he released Holicharan Narzary, the striker's powerful shot ricocheted off the goalpost.
Another chance went begging for Dempo when Holicharan saw Lenny Rodrigues unmarked and relayed the ball to him, but Reisangmi Vashum was on hand to thwart the danger just when Lenny was preparing to take aim at goal.
In the second half, Jayesh Rane went close for Mumbai FC and Taisuke Matsugae failed to follow-up. Dempo too continued with their missed chances as Tolgay, Jewel Raja and Francis Fernandes were all found wanting in front of goal.
Mumbai FC were getting bolder by the minute but every time they ran into a wall put together by Dempo defender Calum Angus and goalkeeper Kattimani. The Dempo goalkeeper did well to block a close-range shot from Rafi just after the half an hour mark and was also called into action in the 86th minute when a free-kick from Climax Lawrence brushed the wall and threatened to sail into the net before Kattimani rose to the occasion.
Dempo's major threat came from quick counter attacks but with Tolgay lacking sharpness upfront all of their chances went waste.
The draw did neither team's survival chances any good. While Mumbai FC now have 18 points in their kitty, Dempo have 17 points, the same as Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar FC. Dempo play Salgaocar twice in the next three matches, while Mumbai FC's opponents include East Bengal and Bharat FC.