Shayan Roy's heroics in goal helped TRAU FC hold defending champions Chennai City FC to a goalless draw in an I-League match on Sunday at the Khuman Lampak Stadium.
Both teams were reluctant to sit back and started the game with an intent to attack, much to the delight of the crowd that turned up for the game. However, despite creating chances, both goalkeepers were alert enough to ensure that the game had no goals.
TRAU were gifted with a chance to break the deadlock in the 14th minute when Ajith Kumar was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box. Princewell Emerka stepped up for the spot-kick but hit the woodwork with his strike from 12 yards.
Chennai City goalkeeper Nauzet Santana was well-positioned to pull off a double save at the end of the first half that had both teams trying to score but struggled with their output in the final third.
Five minutes after the restart, a brilliant run by Vijay on the left flank put Dinesh Singh in trouble. The forward cut in from the left dribbled towards the byline and forced a good save from the keeper who once again kept the defending champions in the game
Chennai City slowly got back into the game and put pressure in and around the TRAU goal. A Katsumi Yusa free-kick from the left-hand side was well kept out by Shayan before a shot from the rebound was also saved.
Fito looked a major goal threat to TRAU's resilient defence and the striker went close twice in quick succession after the hour-mark. He received Ajith Kumar's pass with his back to goal, outmuscled Sandeep Singh to turn towards the goal and hit a powerful strike that looked destined for the top corner but the keeper dived to his left to produce a fantastic save. Minutes later, the striker was denied again, this time by the crossbar, from a free-kick just outside the box.
TRAU had their best chance of the second half towards the end of the game. Premjit Singh delivered a brilliant cross into the box from the right flank which Jishnu Balakrishnan failed to clear. The cross reached Krishananda at the far post who failed to connect from close-range.
A Katsumi cross into the box at the other end also nearly provided Chennai with a match-winning goal. Pravitto Raju headed the slightly overhit cross back into the centre where an unmarked Fito was spectacularly denied a goal from close-range by Shayan who produced a reflex save with his legs.