Navi Mumbai, Nov 13 (IANS) FC Pune City missed a golden chance to climb to the top of the points table in the Indian Super League (ISL) as hosts Mumbai City FC held them to a goalless draw in a football match at the D.Y. Patil Stadium here on Friday.
Both sides despite getting several chances failed to make the most of the opportunity, thus denying the fans much to cheer about on a clash between two Maharastrian sides.
Post the result on Friday, Mumbai are in the sixth spot in the points table with 12 points from nine games, having won three, draw three and lost three.
On the other hand, Pune stay in the second position with 15 points from 10 games, having won four, drawn three and lost three.
Following draw in their previous games, the home side went in with a 4-3-3 formation, while Pune went in with a 4-5-1 combination.
The away side kick started off the proceedings in the night and did well to keep possession and press on in the opposition half.
The hosts did not start with India national team skipper Sunil Chhetri, who returned after a winning performance against Guam in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers on Thursday. Alongside Chhetri, Pune’s Eugeneson Lyngdoh was also given rest.
With both the sides playing aggressively aiming to make it count right at the start, Mumbai had the best chance of the half to go ahead in the 27th minute.
Mumbai’s Subash Singh does well to close down Pune goalie Arindam Bhattacharya. His shot rebounds of Subash inside the box. The striker’s first attempt is blocked by the goalkeeper and on his second attempt, he ends up side-netting.
In the 34th minute, Brandon Fernande who made his first start of the season for Mumbai pulled his hamstring to finally leave the field. He was replaced by Sampath Kuttymani.
Mumbai might have gathered the early advantage with the possession but the away side were not behind, five minutes later midfielder Tuncay Sanli got to the byline and pulled it back for Adrian Mutu.
The Romanian’s shot went straight into the hands of Mumbai goalie Subrata Paul denying Pune a sheer chance.
Both sides went into the break with score line reading nil-nil.
Hosts have dominating possession but are being forced to play sideways passes. Whereas Pune defenders have kept it really tight at the back, not allowing the opposition to go ahead.
As the second half, got underway, both the teams looked in positive mood to take the game one step ahead but it was chances lost by both hosts and the away side that saw the score line remaining the same.
In the 67th minute it was the best chance for Pune to get the lead but to the fan’s surprise Sanli was given offside once again and that sums up his final contribution in the game. He is replaced by Kalu Uche.
It was not only the defence of both the sides that did not allow the strikers to score but it was the efforts of both goalkeepers Arindam and Paul which made the most of the impact.
Chance got by Mutu in the 75th minute was close to a golden chance but his powerful shot on target was palmed out for a corner by Paul.
Mumbai next face FC Goa in an away match on November 17, while Pune travel to the capital to take on Delhi Dynamos FC on November 19.