East Bengal finish goalless with Mohammedan Sporting

November 3rd, 2008 - 12:29 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 2 (IANS) A depleted East Bengal survived an anxious first half to garner a point with a goalless draw against Mohammedan Sporting in an I-League encounter here Sunday.Sporting missed some easy chances before the breather, but looked disjoined in the later half of the floodlit Salt Lake stadium match played before a modest crowd.

After six rounds, East Bengal have culled eight points to be in the sixth slot, while Sporting are 10th with half a dozen points in their kitty.

Three-time champions East Bengal began without injured goalkeeper Subrata Paul, stopper M. Suresh and medio Mehtab Hossain, and Surkumar Singh - serving a one-match suspension for slapping Mohun Bagan’s Bhaichung Bhutia in his club’s previous outing.

They further lost an indisposed striker Yusif Yakubu, who had to be taken off in the 21st minute.

Sporting had the upperhand in the first session, which saw Theodore Sunday twice come close to scoring. In the 22nd minute, the Nigerian missed the target from eight yards. Minutes later, he managed only a feeble sortie, despite having rival custodian Abhra Mandal at his mercy, and Suley Musah effected a goalline save.

Sporting displayed good coordination during the first session, which saw a lively game, as the rivals carried out constant raids into the opponent half.

East Bengal’s only chance before the lemon break saw Renedy Singh unleash a curling free kick which was saved by Sporting goalkeeper Tharangachan Tungshang, who played well to bag the man-of-the-match award.

East Bengal seized the initiative in the second session, and could have netted in the 71st minute, but for Tungshang, who foiled a header by Sunil Chhetri.

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