SC East Bengal hold wasteful Chennaiyin FC to a goalless draw

Chennaiyin FC lost their perfect record in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) as they were held to a 0-0 draw by SC East Bengal at the Tilak Maidan stadium in Vasco, Goa on Friday.

The point though sent Chennaiyin FC top of the table with seven points as SC East Bengal recorded their second point of the season that lifted them to ninth place in the charts.

Chennaiyin FC were the more dominant side and had a fair amount of chances to grab all three points but they weren’t clinical enough against a resolute SC East Bengal side.

SC East Bengal custodian Suvam Sen had a good game and was called into action in the 8th minute when he produced a fine save to deny Mirlan Murzaev from point blank range.

Bozidar Bandovic’s team continued to be on top and created another opening in the 20th minute when Rahim Ali did brilliantly to go past the defender and send a cross into the dangerous area. Chennaiyin FC saw their first shot blocked before Lallianzuala Chhangte got a second chance at it but fired wide.

SC East Bengal defended well enough to resist the Chennaiyin FC pressure in the first half as frustration set in among Bandovic’s men. Ariel Borysiuk took a crack at the goal from distance in the 37th minute but it was off target.

The Red and Gold brigade had a rare opening two minutes later when Darren Sidoel found Darren Chima in space but Slavko Damjanovic saved the day with a timely challenge.

The game was deadlocked at the interval with both defences being on top of their game.

Chennaiyin FC started the second half on the front foot and Ali came close with a header in the 50th minute that flew just wide.

SC East Bengal goalkeeper had a nervous moment in the 58th minute when he spilled a regulation catch that allowed Chennaiyin FC to have a shot on goal but the SC East Bengal defenders managed to block the effort.

Manuel Diaz’s side had the best chance in the 75th minute when Raju Gaikwad had a free chance to head his team into the lead but he fired his header into the ground as the ball bounced over the woodwork.

Chhangte had a chance to win the game late on as he got on the end of a Vladimir Koman corner totally unmarked but couldn’t keep his effort on target three minutes from time.

Eventually, SC East Bengal held on to claim a precious point and end Chennaiyin FC’s winning run in the competition.

The Red and Gold brigade face FC Goa next on Tuesday while Chennaiyin FC take on ATK Mohun Bagan on December 11.

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