Mohammedan Sporting were held to a goalless draw by Dempo in a Round 12 encounter of the Airtel I-League at the Saltlake Stadium on Saturday evening.
Both teams had great chances to score with Mohammedan’s Tolgay Ozbey and Alwyn George of Dempo wasting two golden opportunities each.
It is Mohammedan Sporting’s third straight goalless stalemate at home and it takes their tally to 13 points from 11 matches. Dempo have one point less from the same number of games.
The match got off to a slow start as neither side threatened to score in the early stages but Dempo suffered a big blow as Brazilian Beto came off with an injury and was replaced by Jeje Lalpekhlua.
Mohammedan Sporting were seeing more of the ball but it was only after the half hour mark that they had their first real opening. Tolgay got a clear sight of goal after a nice move but his shot was easily saved by Dempo custodian Laxmikant Kattimani.
Just before the halftime break Tolgay squandered a sitter as he blasted his effort off target from close range after being found by a deflected Collin Abranches cross.
That miss was a huge let off for Dempo and they should have punished Mohammedan Sporting at the start of the second period when Rakesh Masih needlessly gave away possession in front of his own box but Alwyn could only force a save off Mohammedan keeper Luis Barreto.
From the resulting corner Alwyn had another great opportunity as Jewel Raja found him unmarked in the six-yard box after Barreto had misjudged the flight of the ball. But this time Alwyn put his effort over the bar much to the relief of the thousands of Mohammedan Sporting fans.
Those two chances brought Mohammedan Sporting to life and they should have been put in front by Tolgay who was set through on goal by Anthony Sorean but the Aussie’s weak effort was well saved by Kattimani.
Tolgay soon made way for former India striker Ashim Biswas but that change didn’t really have much of an impact as Mohammedan Sporting were struggling to test Kattimani despite getting into good positions around the Dempo box.
Dempo were defending well with makeshift centre back Debabrata Roy having a fine game but the Goan club could have given away a penalty when Kattimani appeared to have brought Josimar down in the box. The referee only gave a corner and there was another penalty shout when Dempo’s Jeje Lalpekhlua looked to have handled the ball inside the box.
Mohammedan Sporting were very wasteful with their final ball in the closing stages with Josimar only managing to test Kattimani once after a corner.
At the other end a superb shot from Dempo substitute Gabriel Fernandes brought the best out of Barreto as he ensured a fourth straight clean sheet for the Kolkata club.
(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)