Margao, Jan 8 (UNI) Salgaocar Sports Club squandered a few opportunities and had to be content with a goaless draw against East Bengal to share points in their 10th round of the ONGC I League championship match played at the Nehru Stadium Fatorda here today.
Salgaocar had the better share of exchanges, especially in the second half, and could have won outright by at least a couple of goals had their forwards been quick in grasping the advantages before them.
The first half started on a fast pace and both the teams tried to find their bearings.
Salgaocar came near to scoring in the 18th minute of the first half when Joe Rodrigues intiated a move and passed to better-placed Malswama. But, East Bengal defender Debobrata Roy cleared away the ball.
Then, East Bengal came with a couple of good moves but failed to capitalise on both the occasions. In the 28th minute, a Dipendu Biswas header missed the mark off a cross pass from Snehasis Chakraborty. In the 39th minute, Edmilson Marques, after collecting a good pass from Chakraborty, unleashed a left-footer which sailed over the bar.
After a barren first half, Salgaocar accelerated the pace of their game and could have moved ahead in the 60th minute but Felix Chimaukou's direct free kick missed the target by inches.
Salgaocar had their best opportunity to shoot into the lead in the 68th minute when Nicholas Rodrigues sent a good cross in front of the rival goal, but fowards Fabio Passos and substitute Boniface Ambani failed to reach the ball in time and it went abegging.
The home team had another good chance to score in the dying minutes when a Fabio Passos header, following the flag kick by Nicholas Rodrigues, almost entered the goal but cleared away by East Bengal's Deepankar Roy just in time.
Salgaocar forward Fabio Passos was later adjudged the man of the match for his fine performance.
With today's drawn match, East Bengal increased their points tally to 8 from 10 matches. Salgaocar moved on to 5 points from five drawn matches from an equal number of outings.
UNI SRN MAZ RAR HT1944