Margao: FC Goa and Mumbai City FC played out a goalless draw in an Indian Super League (ISL) football match here on Wednesday that didn’t enhance either team’s ambitions to qualify for the semi-finals.
But a point earned at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium kept alive their chances of qualification.
Mumbai City climbed to the second spot with 16 points after 11 matches, while Goa climbed a spot to seventh with 11 points, one more than bottom-placed NorthEast United FC.
Mumbai enjoyed more ball possession in the first 45 minutes. With players like Sunil Chhetri and Diego Forlan to count upon, Mumbai City repeatedly threatened, although those two only looked like capable of scoring.
Chhetri was the first to test Goa goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani with a left-footed shot that went straight to the keeper, who saved without much difficulty. Forlan also tested Kattimani on a couple of occasions and twice he proved equal to the challenge.
In the 27th minute when Chhetri put Forlan clear just outside the box, the Uruguayan striker delayed his shot, allowing Kattimani to make a simple save. Forlan tried his luck again later on in the match but this time Kattimani was well positioned to parry the ball away for a corner kick.
Goa relied on counter attacks and had a couple of chances to draw first blood. Romeo Fernandes came closest to scoring when he was sent through by Rafael Coelho but his attempt hit went just wide the 14th minute.
Romeo and Rafael combined to create another opportunity in the 22nd minute but once again Romeo could not keep his attempt on target.
In the second session, Mumbai City came close to scoring several times.
The best chance of the half came early in the game when Forlan beat defender Gregory Arnolin to the ball inside the danger area and set it up for Chhetri.
The India captain shockingly missed his first attempt and his second shot hit a Goa defender before bouncing into the lap of Kattimani.
Forlan himself missed another chance in the 65th minute, who beat the onrushing goalkeeper but defender Arnolin snatched the ball away from the goalline.
Mumbai continued to apply pressure, Chhetri then had a curling attempt saved by the keeper in the 83rd minute.
Goa have the last chance of the game when Brazilian striker Julio Cesar had only the goalkeeper to beat but blew the opportunity.