Chennaiyin FC held ATK Mohun Bagan to an action-packed 0-0 draw at the GMC stadium tonight in the Indian Super League (ISL). Both the sides had genuine goal scoring chances but neither were able to break the deadlock in the Matchday 9 encounter between these two heavyweights.
The first period began with an incredible opportunity for Rafael Crivellaro after he was put through on goal by Jakub Sylvestr’s cushioned pass. However, the Chennaiyin captain’s shot was saved well by Arindam Bhattacharjee. Thereafter, it was the Mariners who started taking charge. Roy Krishna’s toe poke was just off the mark after the ball fell to him following a fortunate deflection. Both Carl McHugh and Manvir Singh had shots on target before ATK Mohun Bagan had their best chance of the match.
An Edu Bedia cross from the right fell perfectly in the path of David Williams but before the Australian could take his shot, Reagan Singh managed to disturb his motion and foil the possibility of a goal. It was an important defensive action from the right back who had missed the previous game through suspension. Then just before half time, Chennaiyin had a decent opening inside the Bagan six-yard box but Enes Sipovic’s effort went straight to Arindam.
Chennaiyin bgan the second half strongly. Goalkeeper Vishal Kaith’s clearance flew over the entire ATK Mohun Bagan defence and found Chhangte. The India international charged forward before shooting with his left and inducing a fingertip save again from Arindam. Their midfield suddenly came to life as Memo, Anirudh Thapa and Crivellaro started combining well and creating some dangerous openings. It seemed like they had worked out a chink in the Mariners’ armour on Pritam Kotal’s side and repeatedly tried to get Chhangte beyond him. However, this somewhat isolated Rahim Ali on the other flank after he had had a brilliant first half where he made the most number of sprints out of all 22 players.
A Memo long-ranger was the next test for Arindam followed by another free kick from the Brazilian who was playing Deepak Tangri’s defensive midfield role in this match. The Bagan custodian was more than up to the task every time. Sylvestr also had a chance to work the keeper after latching on to a weak header from an ATK Mohun Bagan midfielder, but he shot well wide in a situation where he had options on either side.
Csaba Laszlo’s men had another good situation thwarted by man of the match Arindam when he made another fingertip save to prevent Reagan’s piledriver from going into the bottom left corner. Then just before the 90th minute mark, the indomitable Roy Krishna got Bagan’s best chance in the second half.
Subhasish Bose’s cross from the left bypassed all the Chennaiyin defenders and fell perfectly for a header from the Fijian just outside the far post. Unfortunately for Antonio Habas’ side, he couldn’t get the angle right and could only direct the header back across the goal which was then cleared by Sipovic.
The result means that ATK Mohun Bagan are currently on top of the table with 17 points from 8 matches. Mumbai City have 16 but have a match in hand. The Marina Machans stay in 7th position with 10 points from 8 games.