Aizawl: Defending champions Aizawl FC and East Bengal played out a goal-less draw in an entertaining I- League match on Tuesday, with both sides failing to convert the chances that came their way.
The game started with a high tempo as the home side pressed for an early goal.
Liberian midfielder Jaryan's shot flew just wide of the post and William Lalnunfela was awarded a golden opportunity by Albert only to waste it from six yards.
East Bengal grew in confidence and Katsumi was looking dangerous, especially from the dead ball situations but Avilash Paul stood like a rock at the Aizawl goal.
At the half-hour mark, Katsumi was unlucky as his thunderous shot struck the crossbar. He poked at the rebound again but Aizawl goalkeeper Avilash pushed it over.
East Bengal introduced local boy Brandon in the first half but the diminutive Mizo winger could not make much of influence.
With the quarter of the game gone, Jaryan again tested East Bengal goalkeeper Barreto with his powerful right foot shot but Eduardo thwarted the danger much to the dismay of the home fans.
The second half began with a heated altercation between players of both sides as former Aizawl midfielder Al-Amna and Afghan defender Masih Saighani were both booked by referee Rosario Fernandes.
Midfield battle was the highlight of the game as both sides found it hard to engineer an open goal-mouth action.
Brandon's curling effort from outside the box was miraculously palmed away by Avilash Paul to keep the scoreline unchanged.
Menezes introduced local striker Lalkhawpuimawia in search of a goal and Khalid brought in Willis Plaza minutes later but a goal eluded both sides.
Aizawl now have 14 points from eight games while East Bengal maintained the second spot on the table with 18 points form 10 games.
Aizawl will host Neroca FC on 20 January whereas the Red & Golds will lock their horns with Mohun Bagan in the much-anticipated Kolkata Derby on 21 January.
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Updated Date: Jan 16, 2018 19:02:00 IST