FC Goa played out a goalless draw against Mumbai FC in a closely-contested Hero Indian Super League fixture at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.
The draw takes Mumbai City FC to 10 points from seven matches to remain on fifth place while FC Goa continued to occupy the bottom spot of the league table with five points at the halfway stage of the tournament.
FC Goa made two changes in their playing eleven, bringing in Bikramjit Singh and Tolgay Ozbey in place of Jewel Raza and Ranty Martins and they had better ball possession with fluent short passes. But, their moves fizzled out once they reached the rival box as they failed to get past the strong Mumbai FC defence.
FC Goa had their first chance to surge ahead when a move from the left saw Mandar Rao lay a pass to Bikramjit Singh whose shot missed the target narrowly.
The visitors, who looked dangerous on the counter, caught the FC Goa defence napping on a couple of occasions. Once, Deepak Mondal found the net after he was set up by Andre Moritz but was ruled off side by referee Jarred Gillet.
Nicolas Anelka was kept quite for some time by Goa defender Youness Bengelloun but came on his own as he laid an overhead pass to Johan Letzeiter whose effort, however, went over the bar. Anelka latter set up Nadong Bhutia, who also failed to control the ball inside the box and was dispossessed.
Luck also did not favour the home team as Gregory Arnolin header off a Bruno Pinheiro flag kick from the left hit the cross bar soon after resumption.
Mumbai FC tried to find the lead through long passes and they came up with a couple of long-range shots but the home team keeper Jan Seda did well to collect substitutes Tiago Riberio and Lalrindika Ralte's efforts.
With time running out, Goa FC made frantic efforts to find the match-winner and nearly succeeded in the dying minutes but rival keeper Subrata Paul made no mistakes to collect a Ranty Martins header in the injury time.
A Bruno flag kick saw substitute Minguel Herlein selling a dummy and the ball deflected from a Mumbai defender and going into the goal but keeper Paul once again was upto his task to collect it.
FC Goa coach Zico was disappointed once again as his forwards failed to score when chances came their way.
"I have tried with all the strikers but if they cannot score what can I do. During the training session I told what to do but if they keep on committing the same mistakes I can do nothing," Zico said.
"The first leg got over and we are placed at the bottom with five points. But I am confident that we still have chance to move up and qualify for the semi-finals when the second leg starts," said the legendary Brazillian.