I-League 2018-19: Minerva Punjab miss late penalty as Chennai City extend unbeaten run
A late penalty taken by Yu Koboki was saved by Nauzet Garcia to ensure that the game ended in a 0-0 draw ...

League leaders Chennai City FC extended their unbeaten streak as they managed to hold onto a 0-0 draw against defending champions Minerva Punjab on Sunday at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium,

The hosts made one change to the lineup that defeated East Bengal with custodian Bhaskar Roy coming on for Arsh Saini. Mashoor Thangalakath replaced Pravitto Roy in Chennai City FC’s only change in the starting lineup.

The game was subject to a ragged start with both teams misplacing passes and failing to threaten the backlines. The first chance of the game came in the 14th minute when William Opoku shimmied into the box and tested the Chennai custodian with a shot. Nauzet Garcia did well to parry it away.

ILeague, Chennai City FC, Minerva Punjab

The hosts were slowly asserting themselves in the game and in the 36th minute, a brilliant sequence of play involving Lancine Toure and Philip Njoku ended with Yu Koboki chipping it just over.

Charles had a chance to help the visitors get their noses in front just before half-time as he took the ball from the right flank with a delicate first touch and tested the Minerva custodian with a shot. Roy did well to ensure that the deadlock is not broken before the half-time.

Chennai dominated the game with their possession-based play in the second half but failed to really threaten the hosts.

The game suddenly sprung to life in the 89th minute as the defending champions were awarded a penalty with Charles bringing down Bala Dahir in the area. Yu Koboki stood behind the ball for the resulting penalty, only to see Nauzet Garcia save it comfortably. The forward aimed a terrible spot-kick straight to the centre of the net and hence prevented his team from becoming the first team in the league to steal all three points from Chennai.

ILeague, Chennai City FC, Minerva Punjab

Chennai next face Real Kashmir as they attempt to further extend their unbeaten run. Minerva are tasked with a tough test as they host Mohun Bagan on Wednesday.

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