Margao, May 17 (IANS) Mumbai FC held Dempo SC 0-0 in an I-League encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday enhancing their chances of survival at the tournament.
Despite their better share of opportunities created, Mumbai FC couldn’t find the back of the net and when they did in the 74th minute, the linesman raised his flag.
The stalemate ensured Mumbai have 18 points from as many games, while Dempo remain at the bottom of the table with 17 points from 17 contests and may face relegation.
The very first minute saw Dempo have an opening. Australian forward Tolgay Ozbey’s cross was punched by Kunal Sawant only as far as Francis Fernandes whose shot was blocked by Reisangmi Vashum.
Mumbai could have broken the deadlock 11 minutes into the game but but Laxmikant Kattimani thwarted away a thunderous header from Brazilian striker Josimar Da Silva.
Midway through the first half, Holicharan Narzary’s left footed attempt came off the crossbar as the Mumbai custodian was beaten all ends up.
Narzary again breached the Mumbai defences and slid the ball to Lenny Rodrigues who struck it first time but the effort was kept out with Vashum throwing his body on the line.
Five minutes into the second half and Dempo’s Debabrata Roy had to be substituted with Samir Naik as the former got injured.
In the 52nd minute,Jayesh Rane’s shot was blocked by Calum Angus with Taisuke Matsugae firing wide off the ricochet.
Kattimani pulled off another brilliant stop denying Mohammad Rafi thwarting away a powerful shot on target.
In the 74th minute, there was a moment of controversy.Climax Lawrence’s corner-kick saw Rafi slot the ball home with a diving header but the referee’s assistant raised his flag to deny Mumbai a chance to go ahead.
Both sides tried hard but failed to score in the last quarter of the game.