I-League: Profligate Mohammedan Sporting held to goalless draw by TRAU

IMPHAL, 3 Feb: Mohammedan Sporting’s terrible away record remained intact but Tiddim Road Athletic Union’s perfect run at the Khuman Lampak Stadium was broken as the two sides played out a goalless draw in their I-League match here on Friday.
After witnessing 11 goals in the last two matches in the I-League matches, the match between Mohammedan and TRAU was a dull stalemate.
The defensive solidity and clean sheet may please Mohammedan coach Kibu Vicuna, but that will not help a team languishing at the ninth spot on the table. If the team keeps wasting chances like they did on Friday, it may become difficult to avoid relegation, which is the coach’s primary objective.
TRAU, who are at the opposite end of the table, found the Kolkata team a harder nut to crack than they would have thought. L Nandakumar Singh’s wards had a solitary attempt on target in the game.
Mohammedan had an overwhelming possession of the ball right through the match. But Vicuna’s strange decision to play Marcus Joseph behind the striker, rather than as one, clearly hampered the team’s chances.
In the 13th minute, Kyrgyz midfielder Mirlan Murzaev cut the ball back to Sheikh Faiaz. Standing at the goalmouth, Faiaz tried a cute back heel that failed to fool Haokip.
Soon after, Kean Lewis found a way to spurn one of his own. Sairuatkima, on the overlap down the right flank, cut back a brilliant pass to Lewis right in front of the goal, six yards from it. Lewis went for power, too much of it in fact, blasting way over the bar.
Barely a minute later, Marcus curled a free-kick from the right and Mohammedan captain Ousmane Ndiaye just needed to get a touch. But he dived in vain as the ball whizzed past him.
At the stroke of half-time, a through pass found Lewis in the attacking third with the entire TRAU defence behind him. He shot too early and way over the bar.
TRAU looked better in the second half, despite not troubling the visitors much. Unable to break open a resolute defence, they were forced to shoot from distance. (PTI)