ISL: Delhi Dynamos and NorthEast United play out an exciting goalless draw
In their third home game of the season, Delhi Dynamos were restricted to a 0-0 draw by a resilient NorthEast United FC side. The giant killling coach, Ricki Herbert, set his team out with a compact midfield which shielded the defence very well from the highly rated Delhi attackers. The partnership of Mtonga and Felipe restricted Del Piero and co. to difficult chances during the course of the whole game.
Delhi made a single change from the last outing which was a 4-1 win against Chennaiyin FC. Adil Khan started in place of Naoba Singh at right back in a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation while the Highlanders made 4 changes after their unexpected 2-0 away victory against Mumbai City FC. Capdevila was rested and replaced by Massamba Lo Sambou who played at centre back, with Robin Gurung playing at left back.
Tomas Josl started on the left wing while Zodingliana Ralte was on right. Korean winger Do Dong Hyun was rested alongwith Koke and the injured Chansa. James Keene led the line with Felipe forming the midfield duo with Mtonga.
Not so entertaining first half
The first half was not the most exciting in terms of clear cut chances but Delhi Dynamos edged it in terms of the half chances that were created. Del Piero was involved in every attack of the home team as they looked to get the opening goal.
His left footer from the edge of the box went just past the post on the 14th minute and a few minutes later, the Italian no.10 found an unmarked Junker on the right edge of the box who missed the near post. Dias crossed in for what could have been a replica of the previous goal for Junker around the 30 minute mark but the header was wide and ruled offside as well.
NorthEast United had their fair share of chances as well. Durga Boro looked keen on trying long rangers and had a lively first half but hardly looked like converting any of his chances. Josl was booked for simulation in the penalty box on the 42nd minute, and later manufactured a powerful left footer which was inches away from the far post. This was their best chance till then.
End-to-end second half
Dos santos was brought on ten minutes after the interval to replace a tiring Del Piero, moments after the Italian's run on the right wing yielded the best chance of the match till then. The low cross was flicked on by an incoming Junker with an audacious backheel, only to be denied by the near post.
The Brazillian looked lively in the beginning but gradually faded out of the game as he selfishly wasted away a couple of opportunites with bad shots when he could have played his teammates into more dangerous positions in and around the box.
NorthEast United had more opportunities in the second half and got much closer to the goal than they did in the first period. Robin Gurung's run inside the box was stopped by Wim Raymaekers and provoked a debatable penalty shout from the away team. Noticeable chances were few and far between for them in the game and many a time last ditch interceptions by the Delhi Dynamos defence hindered their progress.