Jamshedpur FC and NorthEast United played out a dull 0-0 draw on Saturday. Both teams are in the top four slots and in a direct face-off, they chose not to take enough risks. Teams are keen to ensure that they are very much in contention for a play-off spot before the Christmas break and hence, neither team took the game to the opposition.
Cesar Ferrando’s side drew blanks for the very first time this season. Jamshedpur, while they have undergone massive changes to their team and coaching staff, they are still unable to perform at the top level on a consistent basis. Of the 10 matches, they have shared the spoils on six occasions, which is the highest in the league.
It wouldn’t be unfair to state that they are missing the services of Sergio Cidoncha, who has three assists and as many goals to his name. Carlos Calvo and Pablo Morgado hardly created any chances of note for the hardworking Sumeet Passi. They took shots from distance which hardly troubled Pawan Kumar in goal.
NorthEast did well to keep Michael Soosairaj quiet for the entire game as Provat Lakra kept a close eye on him. Tim Cahill, who came on as a substitute, wasn’t afforded any service either as Jamshedpur huffed and puffed to a draw. Their form since the international break hasn’t been the best with just four points from a possible nine.
Eelco Schattorie would be pleased that his side didn’t suffer a defeat after the tedious journey to Jamshedpur. They did create a few opportunities especially for Rowllin Borges, who was wasteful on the ball. Federico Gallego too had a couple of chances but Subrata Paul was equal to the task.
With both sides in the top-four positions, it was understandable that both Schattorie and Ferrando started the game cautiously, getting a feel of the opposition and not overcommitting. Of course, the absence of Cidoncha did affect Jamshedpur.
But neither side stepped their game up even when it was evident they were cancelling each other out. The intent was not there to win at any costs.
Given that we are nearing the mid-season break where it is paramount for the teams to be in the top-four spot before the league resumes, neither Jamshedpur nor NorthEast wanted to risk a loss in the game.
And it was no surprise that it ended in a drab draw.