Kolkata, March 8: Mohammedan Sporting and Mohun Bagan played out a goalless draw in a round 20 encounter of the Airtel I-League at the Salt Lake Stadium here Saturday.
It was 0-0 back in November as well while two other clashes in other competitions this season also ended all square. The result takes Mohun Bagan’s points tally to 21 points from 19 outings while Mohammedan Sporting are on 17 with two games in hand.
Mohun Bagan skipper Odafa Okolie was available again after returning from injury and was given the start by Karim Bencherifa. The Nigerian started brightly and also had the game’s first real effort with his glancing header narrowly missing the target.
Mohammedan Sporting came into this game on the back of an impressive win over title-chasing Sporting Clube but their play lacked intensity and the approach was cautious.
But Sanjoy Sen’s side could have taken the lead when Taro Hasegawa’s cross was nearly put into the back of his own net by Echezona Anyichie.
The Mariners showed more purpose going forward in the first half with Odafa dropping deep and playing some neat passes but the striker lacked support from his teammates.
Mohun Bagan had to make a change in goal at the start of the second period as Sandip Nandy replaced the injured Shilton Paul but even Nandy wasn’t really tested by Mohammedan Sporting as they lacked ideas in the final third.
Both coaches made substitutions to increase the pace of the match and at the hour mark Mohun Bagan’s Christopher Chizoba had the game’s first meaningful shot on target with his effort well saved by Ashok Singh.
Minutes later Mohammedan substitute Ashim Biswas narrowly missed the target with a header.
As the game entered the final 20 minutes, both Kolkata giants seemed content to play for one point as there were hardly any runs behind either defences.
Each side also had a strong penalty claim but referee T. Nagvenkar denied them both.
Mohammedan Sporting substitute Penn Orji had two decent opportunities towards the end but the Nigerian first volleyed wide and then couldn’t hit the target despite being played clean through on goal by Josimar.