All goalless matches arent necessarily dull. Some may turn ugly.
The newly-promoted Royal Rangers and former champions Hindustan FC came off the turf on Friday,theyd earned one point apiece after the 0-0 draw and,in between them,five yellow cards.
In the first half,the players didnt go after the ball with the same zeal with which they went after players from the opposing team.
Referee Mohammad Kamil,almost out of compulsion,flashed four yellow cards after repeated warnings to Lobsang Wangyal,Tenzin Tsephel of the Royal Rangers,Jimmy and Mohinder of Hindustan FC.
The fouls kept the men carrying the stretcher busy throughout the first 45 minutes. In the next half though,Hindustan FCs Sobhan Das joined the list of booked players and,with some conviction,both teams came into striking distance.
For the Rangers,the closest moment came through a cross from Henry Emeto which Tsering Dhundup failed to give direction.
Hindustan wasted their best chance when an unmarked Yogesh headed Sobhan Dass free-kick way above the upright.
The clap-gatherers meanwhile were the two defence lines optimising the depth of midfield and the awry opponent-attacks.
But against all efforts made by the former champions Yogesh,Monitombi Singh and Modi to keep Emeto and Tsephel at bay,the new-comers Innocent Agu,Sonam Rinzen and Gaurav Kumars immaculate use of the off-side trap was what set the latter apart.
Afresh from a spirited performance against Tarun Sangha a couple of days ago,a repeat wasnt unexpected,and Hindustan FCs lists of the booked (striker Okorogo and Nathan) and injury-hit (midfielder Abhishek Aich) only helped their cause. Midway through the second half,the fatigue factor also took its toll as Sunday and Co. failed to match the games pace often blowing away opportunities.
Both teams have seven points each in the league table.