Sporting Clube de Goa were stopped in their tracks by a determined Pailan Arrows as the two teams were locked goalless in a fifth round clash of the I-League at the Nehru Stadium, in Fatorda, Goa, on Wednesday.
Sporting Clube were on a two-match winning streak and expected to complete a hat-trick of wins, but lacked the necessary sharpness upfront.
Without influential striker James Moga, the hosts found it difficult to penetrate the rival defence. And when there were a couple of opportunities, the strikers fell woefully short.
Pritam Singh stepped into the boots of Moga at the start of the match but could not make much headway. His replacement, Macroy Peixoto, also failed to make any impact.
Sporting Clube, though, had their fair share of chances in the first session. All were created by by Anthony D'Souza, on the right of midfield, but a lacklustre Victorino Fernandes could not finish off, once from handshaking distance.
Anthony also went close for Sporting Clube but his snap shot hit the side post and sailed out of play.
Pailan Arrows played an ultra defensive game and their two best chances came early in the game when C S Sabeeth and Ajay Singh tried to rattle Sporting goalkeeper Gerrard D'Mello with long rangers. Both were wide of the target.
Pailan Arrows started the second session confidently with Sabeeth, captain Milan Singh and Ajay Singh all eager to open the account but the last confident touch was missing.
Their best chance came towards the fag end of the match when a long ball from the centre saw Sabeeth running towards the goal, but an alert Sporting defender Keita Boubacar averted the danger just before Sabeeth could take a shot on goal.