Chennai City failed to convert the chances that came their way as they played out a goalless stalemate against Shillong Lajong inthe I-League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore on Sunday.
Uros Polijanec missed out from the starting XI for Chennai City due to the injury he picked up against Mohun Bagan last time out. Kabir, who replaced him in that game and went on to save Akram Moghrabi's spot-kick, took charge in between the sticks. Aleksander Rakic and Jean Micheal Joachim were paired up front with Soosairaj supporting the forwards from midfield.
For Lajong, Alison Kharsyntiew shuffled his pack and made four changes to the team that succumbed to a 2-3 defeat to Minerva Punjab. Lachenpa, Laurence Doe, Lalrohlua and Novin Gurung were replaced by Nidhinlal, Joo-Ho, Hardy Cliff Nongbri and Alan Deory.
The home side threatened to score only two minutes into the game when Aleksander Rakic split the Lajong defence to pick out Soosairaj's run into the box. The Chennai skipper raced past the centre-backs and chipped goalkeeper Nidhinlal only to see the ball hit the woodwork and bounce out.
At the other end, Abdoulaye Koffi was able to free himself inside the box before cutting onto his left foot and sending a curler into the hands of Kabir.
Samuel Lalmuanpuia has been praised for his set-piece skills this season and he delivered once again when presented with an opportunity. The skipper sent a delicious free-kick towards the far-post where AIban rose highest to head at goal. However, Kabir pulled off a brilliant finger-tip save the poke the ball over the crossbar.
Kabir's decision to rush off his line in the second half to collect a long ball almost gifted an opener to Lajong. The ball, which wasn't headed clear by the goalkeeper, fell into the path of Jagne who poked the ball towards the net. An alert Dharmaraj Ravanan managed to clear the ball before it rolled past the goal-line.
Rakesh Pradhan produced a goal-line clearance at the other end a few minutes later to keep out Schumeiko's shot that had taken a deflection.
The hosts failed to convert their chances and the visitors held firm in the final moments of the game to share the spoils at the end of ninety minutes.