Mohammedan Sporting on Wednesday played out a drab goalless draw against Mohun Bagan to join East Bengal in the semifinals even as scheduling woes hit the 118th IFA Shield tournament in Kolkata.
Mohammedan Sporting finished with seven points in group II to book a semifinal berth, while Mohun Bagan, on four points, will now have to earn at least one point against Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi of Bangladesh in their concluding group league to make it to the last four stage.
Having secured full points against United Sikkim in their previous outing, Mohun Bagan got a boost in fit-again Nigerian forward Odafa Okolie.
But Odafa, who recovered from a hamstring injury, was not in his elements as he failed to find the target. He was substituted in the second-half.
Mohammedan Sporting, on the other hand, put up a good defence with Nirmal Chettri making a fine goal-line save from a Ram Malik shot after goalkeeper Luis Barreto was out of position in a 27th minute move.
Meanwhile, the 118-year-old tournament has hit a hurdle -- in scheduling of the summit clash.
Forced to tinker with the original schedule after visa-related issues delayed the arrival of two teams --Geylang International of Singapore and Dhanmondi -- the IFA are contemplating to hold the two semifinals on February 11.
Incidentally, none of the four city-based clubs are willing to play beyond February 12 to focus on the I-League which will resume two days later.
With two city-based clubs in the semifinals and two more -- defending champions United SC and Mohun Bagan -- are in line, the fate of the final hangs in balance.
The Shield final in 1954 was held four months after the semifinals, while in 1992, the tournament was cancelled altogether after the first match as communal riots broke out in the wake of Babri Masjid demolition.