Kalyani, Feb 3 (PTI) Mohammedan Sporting's woes in front of goal continued as they played out their fourth straight draw in the I-League with a goal-less stalemate against Neroca FC here on Wednesday.
Goalkeeper Shubham Roy made crucial saves to deny the Manipuri side a win.
Mohammedan made four changes after their goalless draw against Punjab FC, bringing in Faisal Ali, Arijit Bagui, Sanjib Ghosh and Suraj Rawat.
Neroca, who had lost 1-2 to Aizawl, also made a bunch of changes, with Shoaib Akhtar, Gobin Singh, Varun Thokchom, Benjamin Lupheng, Manjit Sharma and Deepak Singh all coming into the playing eleven.
The earliest sight of goal came in the fourth minute when Sanjib Ghosh’s long ranger was saved with ease by Neroca keeper Bishrojit Singh.
The first chance of the game fell to Khangam Horam in the 28th minute but the Neroca striker could not find the target with his header.
Five minutes later, Mohammedan found an opening through SK Faiaz’s cross but Neroca’s Shoaib Akhtar read it well and cleared it before the Black Panthers attackers could pounce on it.
Mohammedan made a late push in the first half for the opening goal through Faisal Ali but he could not find any of his teammates at the key moment.
The game turned into a physical battle as at the end of the first half both teams committed as many as 20 fouls.
Mohammedan came out with attacking intent in the early minutes of the second half. They won a string of corners but hardly troubled the Orange Brigade backline.
They again troubled the Neroca defence in the 57th minute as Arjit Bagui’s cross found Sanjib Ghosh in the centre of the box. However, the midfielder’s volley hardly caused any trouble.
Neroca came closest to scoring in the 70th minute after Songpu Singsit was fouled just outside the area by Asheer Akhtar. Jiteshwor Singh’s shot from the free-kick, however, skimmed the top of the bar and went out for a goal kick.
Mohammedan held most of the possession but it was Neroca who looked more likely to score on the counter.
Khangam Horam pounced on a long clearance and if it weren’t for Shubham Roy’s outstretched hand, he would have scored a late winner.
The Black Panthers then woke up and forced two saves from Bishorjit Singh, first through substitute Gourav Mukhi’s long-range shot followed by Hira Mondal’s troubling cross.
Neroca pushed for a late winner but Shubham Roy again denied Judah Garcia in the 87th minute.
After the drawn match, Mohammedan took their points tally to seven, staying in the top-6, while Neroca now have five points from five games. PTI PDS PDS AT AT