Chirag, East Bengal end goalless in I-League encounterJanuary 24th, 2009 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Jan 24 (IANS) Chirag United failed to go for the kill despite creating chances galore and finished goalless with three-time champions East Bengal in an ONGC I-League encounter here Saturday.With both teams being in the relegation zone, a fierce battle for survival was expected, but the lacklustre display of East Bengal came as a dampener to the handful of spectators who gathered at the Salt Lake stadium.
After 12 matches, East Bengal and Chirag are on 13 points. But thanks to a better goal difference, East Bengal are at the eighth slot, two rungs above Chirag.
But Chirag could easily have upped their position, had Shankar Oraon not missed two golden chances - one in each half.
In the 41st minute, East Bengal defender Nirmal Chhetri’s miscued headed backpass to custodian Subroto Pal was well intercepted by Oraon, but the striker’s final push was off-target.
Oraon got the best chance in the 75th minute, when he got past two East Bengal defenders inside the opponents’ box, and had Pal at his mercy before shooting out.
East Bengal, on the other hand, came closest to scoring in the 50th minute, when Sunil Chhetri let loose a pile driver from outside the box, but the crosspiece came in the way.
On another occasion in the second session, Yusif Yakubu set up Chhetri, but the latter’s shot was saved by Chirag goalkeeper Somnath Khanra at the cost of a corner. Khanra was later adjudged man of the match for his confident display under the bar.
East Bengal, who started off with only one foreigner in Yakubu, lacked good moves. And despite adding two more overseas players - Ghanaians Suley Musah and Ishmael Ado - as the match progressed, they failed to impress.