Last year’s runners-up FC Goa made their life difficult after they were held to a goalless draw by Mumbai City FC in a crucial round-robin fixture of the ongoing Hero Indian Super League football tournament.
The draw takes Mumbai City FC to second position in the standings with 16 points from 11 matches, while FC Goa continue to languish at the seventh place of the eight-team tournament with 11 points from as many games.
It will be an uphill task for FC Goa to make the semi-finals of the ongoing edition of the tournament as any slip-up in their remaining three games will throw them out of the knock-out race.
The Goans now need to win all their remaining three matches to stand a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
The visitors, who were looking to avenge their home match defeat, had the first chance to surge ahead in the fourth minute when a move on the right saw Matias Defederico lay a pass to Sunil Chettri, whose left foot effort was easily collected by Goa goalkeeper Laximikanth Kattimani.
The hosts slowly settled down and held the ball possession with Rafael Coelho, who played as a withdraw striker, keeping the attacking moving.
Coelho kept on delivering well directed through passes and often caught the rival defence off guard but Romeo Fernandes, who found himself in good position twice inside the box, failed to direct the ball on target.
The visitors, who were looking to move at the top of the table with a win , came up with couple of counter moves and nearly scored but first Matias Defederico’s shot got a deflection off a rival defender and went to keeper Kattimani and latter Diego Forlan’s stinging left footer from distant was punched over by alert the alert Goan custodian for an aborative corner.
The second half saw Mumbai City FC doing bulk of the attacking and home team coach Zico sensing trouble made two quick changes, bringing in Joffre Gonzalez and Trinadade Goncalves in place of Debabrata Roy and Keenan.
Zicon also brought in Julio Cesar later in place of injured Sanjay Balmuchu but the visitors’ continued to attack in search of the elusive goal.
The Goan side’s citadel came under threat twice in a span of five minutes when Sunil Chettri’s shot was blocked by a home team defender in the 62nd minute and three minutes later Krisztian Vadocz laid a pass to Forlan, who went past his marker and shot past onrushing Kattimani only to see Gregory Arnolin make a goal line save.
Chettri was once again in action in the 85th minute when he essayed a left footer from inside the box which keeper Kattamini did well to keep out.
With time running out and neither of the teams able to get the breakthrough, Goa went all out and got a glorious chance to break the deadlock when substitute Julio Ceasar was put through inside the box but his attempt at the goal was saved by diving rival keeper Amrinder Singh.