Imphal, Feb 16 (IANS) Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC played out an entertaining goalless draw with defending I-League Champions Chennai City FC at the Khuman Lumpak Stadium here on Sunday.
TRAU goalkeeper Shayan Roy was magnificent on the day to deny the visitors all three points. TRAU earned a penalty in the 13th minute when Ajith Kumar was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the 18-yard box. Skipper Princewill Emeka stepped up for the spot-kick but his effort rattled the woodwork, thus squandering a glorious opportunity.
The second half was headlined by the sheer goalkeeping heroics of Roy. The hosts survived a scare in the 50th minute, when Vijay’s low-driven cross was almost deflected into the back of his own net by Deepak Devrani. But to his relief, the ball rolled inches wide off the woodwork.
In the 58th minute, Chennai had a free-kick on the edge of the box. Katsumi Yusa curled one destined for the top-left corner but was denied by a fine save from Roy. Chennai retained possession and kept the attack alive. Ajith Kumar’s cross found Roberto Eslava, who headed towards goal from point-blank range and instead of setting off on his celebratory lap, he knelt to the floor with his head in his hands after Roy had produced the save of the season to deny him, diving at full-stretch to his right, showcasing astounding reflexes.
Roy was at it again, repelling Fito’s left-footed drive in the 65th minute. He couldn’t have done anything about the Spaniard’s free-kick a minute later but the crossbar came to his rescue.
Three minutes later, he threw himself at yet another Eslava header from close range, leaving the Chennai skipper wondering what else he needs to do to break the custodian’s resilience.
With that result, TRAU rise on the table with 16 points while the defending champions Chennai City are lower down the standings with 15 points.