Odisha FC and Mohun Bagan Super Giant played out a goalless draw at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar to commence the Saturday double header of the Indian Super League (ISL).

With competitors elevating their performance levels lately, the pressure has been built on the Juggernauts to not drop points in their pursuit of the top spot of the points table.

Mumbai City FC equalled them in points last night with their win over Chennaiyin FC, with only a superior goal difference keeping the Sergio Lobera-coached side ahead in the race.

However, they were unable to make the most of the opportunity at home against an upbeat Mohun Bagan Super Giant, who extended their unbeaten streak to five games under Antonio Lopez Habas in the ISL.

Contrary to what the scoreline suggests, it was an end-to-end encounter that produced umpteen opportunities for either sides to break the deadlock. A total of nine shots were taken out of which six were on target, combined for both teams, with Isak Vanlalruatfela and Albanian striker Armando Sadiku leading the charge for their respective teams.

Isak, in particular, was a menace for the Mariners, coming close to bagging the first goal of the night for Odisha FC multiple times in the opening half. He forced a mistake off Anwar Ali around the 20th minute mark, and targeted the top right corner but the shot failed to trouble Vishal Kaith. He had a duel with Kaith in the third minute too, making a dazzling run on the left flank before shooting his shot at the goalkeeper who held his composure to make a critical save by staying in his line.

It was not as if he lacked support from his senior striking partners, Roy Krishna and Diego Mauricio. Just as the half was drawing to an end, Krishna laid up a pass for an onrushing Mauricio on the right flank. The Brazilian collected the pass in his stride,  before unleashing a fierce shot that deflected off the crossbar!

Sadiku will be regretting not converting the several chances that came his way from close quarters. The striker had Asish Rai and Sahal Abdul Samad setting up deliveries for him both when he was at the edge of the box as well as at the centre in the 26th and 34th minutes respectively. But, his efforts couldn’t make it past Amrinder Singh, and so couldn’t the ones made by Dimitrios Petratos just as the second half begin. Even the substitutions, featuring the likes of Jason Cummings and Cy Goddard couldn’t influence the proceedings abundantly to change the eventual outcome of the game.

Key Performer of the Match

Vishal Kaith (Mohun Bagan Super Giant)

The Mariners’ goalkeeper was solid between the posts for the visitors, making two saves, clearing once, completing 16 out of his 26 passes to ensure that the team returned home with a clean sheet to their name.

What’s next for both teams?

Odisha FC will play their coming match against East Bengal FC on February 29. Mohun Bagan Super Giant is set to clash against Jamshedpur FC for their forthcoming fixture on March 1.

Brief Scores

Odisha FC 0 - 0 Mohun Bagan Super Giant 

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