Kolkata, Jan 30 (UNI) East Bengal and Air India settled for a goalless draw in a listless tie of the I-league here today.
However, the draw helped East Benmgal barely scrape out of the relegation zone with a better goal difference though sharing same point of 12 from 14 outings with Viva Kerala.
Placed third from bottom, East bengal will need to win their remaining matches to be safe on their own or wait for the fate of the other teams to save relegation.
Air India with mission accomplished, remain on the sixth position with 16 points.
This match was a perfect example of how not to score, with both teams showing complete lethargy in taking strike at the goal. The little chances created by East Bengal came off the last line of defence Arnab Das Sharma, who had a good outing. The AI goalie was given the man-of-the-match.
East Bengal once again showed their lack of strike force with Edmilson the lone attacker. Once he is bottled up, which is obvious, the reg-golds had no teeth left.
Air India played a game of safety first and came out with flying coulours. With counter attacks they kept the home defence on toes and defended dourly not allowing East Bengal any penetration.
A sharp shower in the afternoon did not help matters as the sluggish ground further slowed down the pace of the match. It seemed like the game was being played in slow motion. However, the home team could consider themselves a tinge unlucky not to have won the tie, even after creating several set pieces near the rival box.
With the kind of attack they have, they will find it difficult to break the defence of Mahindra United whom they meet next.
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