It was a day on which defences on both sides held sway.
Gift Raikhan made three alterations to his side that beat Gokulam 1-0. Dhananjoy Singh, Aryn Glen Williams and Pritam Singh were replaced by Govin Singh Moirangthem, Nedo Turkovic and Yumnam Gopi Singh respectively.
Felix Chidi threatened to score in the early stages of the game. The Nigerian striker stole the ball from Masih Saighani before storming into the box and feeding Gopi who failed to connect properly, allowing Avilash to come out and collect to avert the danger.
Chidi threatened again when he made space for himself outside the box and between two defenders, his left-footed piledriver flew inches wide of goal.
David Lalrinmuana’s corner-kick past the half-hour mark caused havoc inside the NEROCA box but Leonce Dodoz failed to keep his shot on target.
The biggest opening of the half fell to NEROCA at the stroke of half-time. A beautiful cross from the right fell to an unmarked Nedo Turkovic inside the box but the 28-year-old striker somehow missed a tap-in from close-range to keep the scoreline intact.
Both sides had chances at the hour-mark when Chidi’s long-range effort scraped the post before flying wide and Ionescu’s cross fell to David Lalrinmuana whose attempt at goal had the goalkeeper tracking back to his line as the ball flew over the bar.
Lalrinmuana’s shot at goal in the 73rd minute hit the net but it had taken an off-side touch as it flew through the crowded penalty box, forcing the referee to rule out a potential opener.
Both sides failed to finish off chances but had plenty of promising moments throughout the game, Dodoz’s right-footed shot in the second minute of added time was wide of the target as the referee brought the engaging affair to a close.
Following the stalemate, Neroca FC have halved the gap with table-toppers Minerva Punjab FC having played two matches more whereas defending champion Aizawl FC are stranded at the sixth spot with 17 points from 13 matches.