JAMSHEDPUR: Jamshedpur FC and NorthEast United FC played out a goalless draw at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Saturday. The match saw only one shot on target over the ninety minutes and it came from the visitors.
The point lifted the Highlanders to the second spot in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) table with 18 points from nine matches. Jamshedpur remained in the fourth spot and have 15 points from their 10 outings.
Both teams made a tentative start to the match and looked to maintain possession of the ball. The first chance fell to the home side on the ninth minute, after Memo found Pablo Morgado with a long pass from the midfield. The Spaniard took the shooting opportunity, but his effort was too high.
NorthEast hit back with a chance of their own on the other half of the field. Ogbeche did extremely well to hold off his marker inside the box, before laying the ball off for an onrushing Rowllin Borges. The midfielder, however, rushed his shot and put it over the bar.
As the half progressed, Jamshedpur started dominating possession, while NorthEast seemed content staying back and playing on the counter. But neither of the goalkeepers faced any serious test. Both defences kept their shape and most of the attacking play were restricted to shots from outside the box. Chances were few and far between in the first 45 minutes, as both teams headed into the break with the score level at 0-0.
The second-half picked up from where the first-half left off, with either team failing to make any definitive inroads into the opposition defence. It took 58 minutes to register the first shot on target in the match. Federico Gallego’s shot forced a regulation save from Subrata Paul.
On the hour mark, Jamshedpur head coach Cesar Ferrando introduced Tim Cahill to the fray in order the shake things up.
With 64 minutes on the clock, NorthEast almost found a way inside the Jamshedpur box after a dangerous backpass by Memo. But Subrata came off his line quickly to bail his teammate out.
The match started to open up a bit after the 70-minute mark. Jamshedpur substitute Mobashir Rahman’s volley from outside the box managed to worry NorthEast goalkeeper Pawan Kumar for the first time in the match. The shot, however, sailed inches over the bar.
The Highlanders have made it a habit of scoring late goals this season and it seemed the trend may continue when Ogbeche found space inside the Jamshedpur box on the 89th minute. The striker tried to bend one inside the far post. A backtracking Bikash Jairu managed to put a crucial block in to deny him.
It was the final piece of goalmouth action in the match as both sides settled for a point.