Aizawl hold East Bengal in I-League clash

Defending champions Aizawl FC held Kolkata football giants East Bengal to a 0-0 draw in an I-League encounter here on Tuesday.

Aizawl hold East Bengal in I-League clash
Representative image of the sport of football (Reuters)

Aizawl: Defending champions Aizawl FC held Kolkata football giants East Bengal to a goalless draw in an I-League encounter here on Tuesday.

East Bengal thus remain second on the league table with 19 points from nine matches. They trail league leaders Minerva Punjab FC by three points.

Aizawl rose two rungs to the fourth spot with 14 points from eight matches. 

They displaced Shillong Lajong FC from the fourth spot. Lajong are also on 14 points but went down to the fifth spot due to an inferior goal difference, just one point above sixth place Mohun Bagan.

The hosts started the better side and had a great chance in the fifth minute when playmaker Andrei Ionescu`s cross found Masih Saighani who failed to connect. 

Albert Zohmingmawia then set up Alfred Jaryan on the edge of the box after some good spadework but the midfielder`s low shot was just wide of the mark. 

Albert then turned provider for Lalnunfela a couple of minutes later but the forward failed to sort out his feet quickly and shot wide.

East Bengal came close in the 25th minute when Yusa Katsumi`s free-kick was punched away by Aizawl goalkeeper Avilash Paul with the Japanese playmaker volleying over the rebound.

After the break, East Bengal were forced into a change early in the second half as central defender Arnab Mondal had to be taken off for Deepak Kumar after injuring his hamstring.

The Kolkata outfit came close again in the 72nd minute after Mahmoud Al Amna squared up Brandon Vanlalremdika on the edge of the Aizawl penalty box. The latter`s curling first-time shot was aimed at the top right corner but Paul pulled off a stellar save to claw the ball over the bar.

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