NorthEast United FC and FC Pune City drew 0-0 in a hard-fought Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Indira Gandhi Stadium here on Saturday.
Pune improved to 12 points from eight matches but remained in the third spot in the standings while NorthEast United FC stayed in the fifth spot with the draw, having accumulated 10 points from eight matches.
NorthEast enjoyed the upper hand against their opponents at the beginning of the match. They defended confidently and timed their attacks perfectly, forcing the visitors to sit deep in their own half.
They stretched the Pune defence and have managed to create goal-scoring chances. Midfielder Koke was sublime in his passes in the first half and at times it seemed it was a just matter of time before they went ahead.
But Pune managed to hold on and went into the break with a 0-0 scoreline.
The home team maintained their supremacy after the break but the all-important goal proved elusive.
Pune became confident with the passage of time and came threatened to punish NorthEast for their inability to score.
2014 World Cupper Konstantinos Katsouranis provided the attacking inspiration to Pune. He set up Nigerian striker Dudu, who tested goalkeeper Rehenesh with an on-target header and then played a neat through ball for Krisztian Vadocz who sent his shot wide.
As the match neared its end, Pune, spearheaded by Dudu, became dangerous. They came close to breaking the deadlock on a couple of ocassions but like their opponents did everything without finding the target, to settle for a draw.