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I-League: Aizawl FC play out goalless draw against East Bengal

Aizawl FC and East Bengal both failed to capitalise on their chances in their I-League encounter and with this result, East Bengal have remained in second spot.

football Updated: Jan 16, 2018 18:20 IST
Press Trust of India
Aizawl F.C.‬,‪East Bengal F.C.‬,‪Khalid Jamil‬
East Bengal’s goalless draw with Aizawl FC, the defending I-League champions, kept them in second spot. (HT Photo)

Defending champions Aizawl FC and East Bengal played out a goal-less draw in an entertaining I-League match, with both sides failing to convert the chances that came their ways.

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 January 20 whereas the Red & Golds will lock their horns with Mohun Bagan in the much-anticipated Kolkata Derby on January 21.

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 18:14 IST