Kolkata, Feb. 26 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) Runners up Churchill Brothers and former title holders Mohun Bagan played out a goalless draw in their 16th round I league soccer match at the Salt Lake Stadium here Saturday.
Inspite of not being able to field six of their regulars due to injury and card problem, Mohun Bagan put up a spirited display specially during the second half.
They could have romped home victorious but for their front liners who failed to cash in on the chances they got.
Churchill and Bagan both stayed put at the same 3rd and 6th position in the league table with 30 and 22 points respectively after completing sixteen outings. Shubhas Bhowmick, the technical director of the home side should not be dissapointed with this result as per his indication during the pre-match briefing.
Bagan, who lost to Churcill 0-2 in the first leg of the league, started cautiously
Churchill made their first attack in the very third minute but Bagan keeper Shilton Paul foiled a Steven Dias attempt to forge ahead.
Bagan defence played well to keep their fort in tact. Specially Sagram Mandi, who played as a defensive screen, excelled and kept strict vigil on Odafa Okolie – the deadly Churchill striker who took the field in the second half but failed to cause any damage.
Bagan came near scoring in the 38th minute. But striker Muritaala Ali failed to head a Snehasish cross from the left in the 38th minute.
The second half saw the Green and Maroon dominating the proceedings all through. Their medios Snehasish Chakrabarty and Jayan Sen combined well to produce a series of raids, though without success.
Bagan striker Muritala Ali wasted the easiest ooportunity of the day when four minutes after the second half he dodged past a host of Churchill defenders, including custodian Lalit Thapa, only to shoot feebly into the empty goal which gave enough time to Churchill defender Goaurmangi Singh to make a goalline save.
Churchill who mostly remained busy defending their fort in the second half earned a good opportunity in the 66th minute .But Odafa shot out from inside the box .
Five minutes before the long whistle the home team came near scoring again . But a stingy shot by Muritala off Chidi was smartly saved by Churchill keeper Lalit Thapa who dived full length to his right to keep their fort in tact.
(Reporting by Manik Banerjee)