Chennai City and Shillong Lajong share spoils after goalless draw
Written by: I-League
Both teams continued to fire blanks underlining their struggle for goals throughout the season.
Chennai City and Shillong Lajong played out a hard-fought goalless draw at the JLN Stadium on Sunday (February 11, 2018).
An injury picked up in the game against Mohun Bagan forced goalkeeper Uros Polijanec to sit out the crucial fixture against Lajong. Kabir replaced the injured custodian after an impressive outing as a substitute in the last match in which he saved a penalty. Aleksander Rakic and Jean Micheal Joachim were paired up front with skipper Soosairaj employed on the left.
Alison Kharsyntiew made four changes to the Lajong team that started the game against Minerva Punjab. Lachenpa, Laurence Doe, Lalrohlua and Novin Gurung were replaced by Nidhinlal, Joo-Ho, Hardy Cliff Nongbri and Alan Deory.
The home side came out of the blocks soon after the referee's whistle. Aleksander Rakic's inch-perfect through-ball split the Lajong defence and Soosairaj latched onto it as he ran into the box. The Chennai skipper's delightful chip over the goalkeeper struck the woodwork.
Abdoulaye Koffi found space on the right channel as he surged into the box but the curling effort off his left foot was straight at Kabir.
Set-piece specialist Samuel Lalmuanpuia delivered a delightful free-kick towards the far-post in the 18th minute. Aiban' header forced Kabir to produce a finger-tip save to keep the scoreline intact.
Schumeiko's poor clearance alerted Saihou Jagne at the stroke of half-time. Jagne passed the ball to Koffi who shot at goal but it wasn't well-timed as the goalkeeper collected easily.
Rakesh Pradhan's long diagonal was stolen off Koffi's feet by an alert Kabir. The goalkeeper, however, missed the chance to head clear a long ball by Lajong and gifted an opportunity to Jagne who released a shot at an empty goal. Dharmaraj Ravanan rushed back to clear the ball before it hit the net.
At the other end, Rakesh Pradhan pulled off similar heroics when he rushed back to clear a deflected effort from Schumeiko off the goal-line.
In the end, both sides failed to convert chances that were created throughout the game as the referee brought the game to an end.
Published: Sun Feb 11, 2018 07:06 PM IST