Shillong, Jan 5: Chennai City goalkeeper Uros Poljanec had a great day under the bar and ensured that his side took home a point in a 0-0 draw with Shillong Lajong in the I-League here today.
It was the second goalless game of the season and the third match in a row that SLFC have gone without scoring.
By only the seventh minute Abdoulaye Koffi had two reasonable chances to get his first I-League goals for Lajong, but left-footed the first straight to man-of-the-match Poljanec and headed the second wide.
Perhaps the best chances for Lajong in the match belonged to Alen Deory. In the 32nd minute Rakesh Pradhan delivered a free-kick into the box and Deory met the ball, but headed it straight down into the turf and it bounced harmlessly over the bar. Deep into the second half he pulled off a screamer that Poljanec tipped onto the horizontal.
SLFC were the team with plenty more possession, but they kept losing the ball in the final third of the pitch. The visitors for their part didn’t really set the JN Stadium alight either. They put Phurba Tempa Lachenpa to the test only twice in the first half even though they had a raft of corners a quarter of the way through the game.
The half time whistle blew with no goals scored – unsurprising from Lajong’s perspective as they’ve only registered one in their eight matches of the 2017-18 season.
There was only a slight lift in the quality of the game in second half, with the hosts straight away bringing on Samuel Lalmuanpuia in place of Redeem Tlang. The coming on of the captain (Laurence Doe played that role in the first half) did raise the Reds’ spirits, but real attacking spirit from his team mates was sorely lacking.
Meanwhile, CCFC had their best chance in the second half on the hour mark when Veniamin Shumeiko turned in a good free-kick, but Jean Michael Joachim’s flicked header didn’t quite come off. Shumeiko was then open in front of goal in the 80th minute but he failed to make proper contact with a corner kick.
SLFC’s Aiman Al-Hagri, who only had a so-so day, delivered a beauty of a cross in the 73rd minute but Koffi’s outstretched boot couldn’t quite get to the volley and another chance went begging. Lajong weren’t done yet, however, with a horrendous miss for Koffi yet again in stoppage time, which brought the pretty woeful performance to an end.