Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan put up a spirited show to hold defending champions Churchill Brothers to a goalless draw in a second round encounter of the I-League at the Duler ground, here on Saturday.
This was Bagan's second draw in as many matches while Churchill opened their account by virtue of this result. Bagan have two points from two games while Churchill has one from two encounters.
The game started at a slow pace, with both the teams trying to build up patiently from the midfield. In the fourth minute, Churchill got the first free-kick of the game but Hugo Machado's attempt was comfortably cleared by Zakeer.
The first opening of the game came Bagan's way but Eric Muranda headed wide off a free-kick taken by Denson Devadas.
Churchill also had their share of opportunities when Al Kaddour set it up for Machado, but his crack at goal was parried away for a corner by Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Sandip Nandy.
A flurry of flag-kicks happened in the opening 20 minutes of the game, with both the teams making the opponent defence dwell under pressure, although none of them could capitalize their chances.
In the 24th minute, Katsumi Yusa tried to catch the Churchill goalkeeper out of position, but his curling effort towards the right post went wide.
Not much of action was seen in the first half as both the teams lacked sharpness they needed in the opposition's defensive third.
Gabon international Henri Antchouet recovered from an injury and was paired upfront with Syrian striker Ahmad Al Kaddour for the home side.
Karim Bencherifa made a number of changes in the line-up, which included dropping last match's scorer CS Sabeeth. Ram Malik was handed his I-League debut for the green and maroon brigade while Ravinder Singh was also left on the bench.