SC East Bengal’s winless run stretched to 14 matches as they played out a 0-0 draw against Mumbai City FC in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa on Friday. Des Buckingham’s side, meanwhile, have also gone winless in their last four outings.
SC East Bengal started on the front foot and had a great chance to take the lead in the 8th minute when Sourav Das tried a long-range attempt but the Islanders cleared the ball comfortably.
Five minutes later, the Red and Gold Brigade had another chance when Hira Mondal’s long throw found Daniel Chukwu after bouncing around the six-yard box. However, Chukwu couldn’t generate enough power in his shot.
The Red and Gold Brigade were forced into an early change when Joyner Lourenco pulled his hamstring as he tried to stop Bipin Singh on the left flank, with Ankit Mukherjee replacing him.
In the meantime, Mumbai City FC grew frustrated with SC East Bengal’s resilience and were restricted to taking shots from distance. Both teams went into half-time level and with minimal chances to show for their efforts.
Renedy Singh threw on Mohammad Rafique for the second half in place of Bikash Jairu. However, status quo was maintained, with neither being able to convert the half-chances they had.
The Islanders came close to scoring a goal in the 54th minute of the match when Cassio Gabriel fired a stinging shot from outside of the box but goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja did excellently to push it over the bar. Buckingham brought on Ygor Catatau and Vinit Rai in the 64th minute to replace Gabriel and Raynier Fernandes but neither was able to break the deadloack.
The first booking of the match came in the 81st minute when Ahmed Jahouh was shown his fourth yellow card of this season, which meant he won’t be available for selection in the Mumbai City FC’s next match.
The Islanders had a chance to snatch victory in the 85th minute when Catatau got into a scoring position on the right channel but goalkeeper Bhattacharja came out of his goal to clear the danger. There were hardly any opportunities thereafter as both teams had to share the spoils.
The point takes Mumbai City FC back to the top of the table – a point ahead of Hyderabad FC. SC East Bengal, on the other hand, remain rooted to the bottom of the Hero ISL points table.
Buckingham’s men return to action on Monday when they take on Bengaluru FC. SC East Bengal’s next assignment is against Jamshedpur FC on Tuesday.
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