NorthEast United extended their unbeaten run this season as they drew 0-0 with Chennaiyin FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Sunday.
NEUFC made three changes to the side as Idrissa Sylla started upfront before Kwesi Appiah. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin made two changes to their line-up with Anirudh Thapa returning to require an area on the bench.
Chennaiyin shaded possession within the half but each side lacked the leading edge within the final third. NorthEast keeper Gurmeet Singh was called into action early as Chennaiyin created an opportunity as early because the first minute — Lallianzuala Chhangte receiving an extended ball from Jakub Sylvestr within the box but shooting straight at the keeper. Five minutes later, Edwin Vanspaul had another opportunity to place Chennaiyin ahead. The midfielder pounced on a loose ball following a clearance, only to ascertain his effort narrowly miss the far post.
NorthEast had their chances too and within the 18th minute, came on the brink of breaking the deadlock. Benjamin Lambot, unmarked within the box, won a free header from a corner but did not place his effort on track . Another big opportunity went begging for them within the 38th minute, again coming through a set-piece. Luis Machado whipped a corner in and Dylan Fox sent his effort over the crossbar.
Both teams began the last half with intent. NEUFC created a clear-cut chance within the 55th minute only to be denied by Chennaiyin keeper Vishal Kaith. VP Suhair received the ball on the left flank and fired a cross into the box for Sylla, whose powerful shot was superbly tipped over the crossbar. Chhangte had another opportunity to attain the opener before the hour mark. After receiving the ball on the rebound after a save from Gurmeet, the winger placed his effort over the bar from close range.
However, the simplest chance of the sport arrived during the 66th minute and NorthEast should have taken the lead. Substitute Rochharzela split the Chennaiyin defense with a stunning through ball for Sylla. The striker, with only Kaith to beat, poked his shot inches wide of the post.
NEUFC, with 10 points alongside ATK Mohun Bagan, are now second within the table while Chennaiyin FC have now did not devour a win in their last four matches, and are eight with 5 points in five.