NorthEast United extended their unbeaten run in the Indian Super League after a goalless draw with Chennaiyin FC, in Vasco, on Sunday.
With one point from the match, the Highlanders are placed joint second with ATK Mohun Bagan on 10 points while Chennaiyin have now failed to pick up a win in their last four matches.
NorthEast United made three changes to their side as Idrissa Sylla started upfront ahead of Kwesi Appiah. Chennaiyin made two changes to their line-up with Anirudh Thapa among the substitutes.
NorthEast keeper Gurmeet Singh was called into action early on as Chennaiyin created a chance in the first minute. Lallianzuala Chhangte received a long ball from Jakub Sylvestr in the box but his shot was parried away by Gurmeet.
Five minutes later, Edwin Vanspaul had another opportunity to put Chennaiyin ahead. The midfielder pounced on a loose ball following a clearance, only to see his effort narrowly miss the far post.
NorthEast too had their chances and came close to breaking the deadlock in the 18th minute. Benjamin Lambot, unmarked in the box, won a free header from a corner but failed to place his effort on target.
Another big opportunity went begging for the Highlanders in the 38th minute, again coming through a set-piece. Luis Machado whipped a teasing cross into the box from a corner for Dylan Fox, who only managed to fire his effort over the crossbar.
Both teams began the second half with intent. The Highlanders created a clear-cut chance in the 55th minute, only to be denied by Chennaiyin keeper Vishal Kaith.
VP Suhair received the ball on the left flank and fired a cross into the box for Sylla, whose powerful shot was tipped over the crossbar.
Chhangte had another opportunity to score the opener before the hour mark. After receiving the ball on the rebound after a save from Gurmeet, the winger placed his effort over the bar from close range.
However, the best chance of the game arrived during the 66th minute and NorthEast should have taken the lead. Substitute Rochharzela split the Chennaiyin defense with a lovely through ball for Sylla. The striker, with only Kaith to beat, poked his shot inches wide of the post.
NorthEast United continued to threaten their opponents in the dying minutes of the game but failed to find a winner.
Bengaluru clip Kerala wings in six-goal thriller
Bengaluru FC walked away with three points after a 4-2 win over Kerala Blasters in their high-scoring Indian Super League match in Margao.
The teams were tied 1-1 at the break with Rahul K P (17th) giving Kerala Blasters a surprise lead which was cancelled out by Cleiton Silva (29th).
The second half saw four goals being scored in the span of 14 minutes.
Erik Paartalu (51st) and Dimas Delgado (53rd) scored in quick succession to give Bengaluru FC breathing space but Jordan Murray (61st) gave some hope to the away team.
Sunil Chhetri (65th) put the game to rest with a fine header.
Bengaluru started sharper than their previous displays with Chhetri and Kristian Opseth showing confidence and flair every time they got on the ball. But it was Kerala, who had the first shot on target.
Facundo Pereyra, with great vision, spotted Jordan Murray with a through ball, slicing open the Blues defence. Murray took a touch and shot at goal but Bengaluru's Gurpreet Singh Sandhu produced a diving save to deny Kerala the lead.
Kerala finally capitalised in the 17th minute from a counter-attack. Gary Hooper intercepted a Bengaluru free-kick and made a fine run into opposition territory and set up Rahul KP. The youngster took a touch before drilling past Gurpreet with a low shot.
Bengaluru replied in the 29th minute when Cleiton Silva capitalised on a defensive mistake. Lalruatthara mistimed his clearance after Nishu Kumar headed a long ball into his own penalty box. Silva poked the ball past Albino Gomes.
Soon after the restart, Bengaluru were awarded a penalty but Chhetri failed to score after Gomes read him correctly.
Bengaluru's response was instant, scoring twice in as many minutes. Silva generated the move finding Ashique Kuruniyan on the left.
Paartalu, who was left unmarked in the box, turned in Ashique's cross. Then Opseth set up Dimas Delgado, after Lalruatthara gave away possession cheaply. Delgado did not make a mistake.
Kerala managed to pull one back in the 61st minute. Pereyra's cross was on the money, reaching Vicente Gomes who flicked the ball to Murray. The Australian found the net with a fine touch.
Bengaluru restored their two-goal lead and this time, it was Chhetri who got his name on the score sheet. The India international made amends for his earlier penalty miss and headed in a Harmanjot Khabra cross.