NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters FC played out a goalless draw in an Indian Super League match at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Friday.
After a cagey first 45 minutes, both sides had chances to clinch the game in the second half but due to poor finishing, the game finished goalless.
Kerala are eighth on the table with 15 points while NorthEast United, who have not scored for five games in a row today, is a place below with 12 points.
The match got off to a sedate start with the ball mired in midfield as both sides struggled to find their rhythm.
There was a lack of urgency from the teams, unsurprising given the fact that both sides were out of the running for play-off spots.
NorthEast were handed a blow in the middle of the first half when Provat Lakra went off injured and Wayne Vaz needed to fill in. The two goalkeepers continued to be untested as the half went by.
The first real chance of the game eventually came in the 41st minute when Federico Gallego picked out Andy Keogh’s run from a chipped free-kick, but the Irishman could not maintain his first-time volley on target.
Before the break, NorthEast custodian Subhasish Roy Chowdhury was forced into a save when Moustapha Gning glanced a header from Sergio Cidoncha’s free-kick. The second-half witnessed a flurry of chances.
NorthEast should have taken the lead within two minutes of the restart when Gallego picked out substitute Nikhil Kadam’s run into the box with a brilliant pass but Kadam’s shot from close-range was parried away by Kerala goalkeeper Bilal Khan.
A couple of minutes later, Cidoncha’s ball into the box fell for Gning just outside the box and his effort was kept out by Subhasish.
This time, it was Halicharan Narzary who found space to shoot from just inside the box but it was too near Subhasish.
The tale of missed opportunities continued as Bartholomew Ogbeche latched onto Gianni Zuiverloon’s long ball in the 73rd minute and had only Subhasish to beat but his shot wide from close-range.
At the opposite end, Keogh turned smartly after getting Gallego’s pass but sent his volley straight to goalkeeper Bilal Khan.