ISL 10 | Punjab holds East Bengal in a goalless encounter

Guarded post: Cleiton’s efforts couldn’t get past Punjab’s goalkeeper Kiran.

East Bengal failed to sustain the momentum of a big win and had to settle for a goalless draw against the resolute defending of the debutant Punjab FC in an ISL match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday.

After the high of a 5-0 win against NorthEast United FC, EBFC failed to reproduce the rhythm and had to be satisfied with a point from the deadlocked affair.

The host’s attack struggled to find its footing against a predominantly defensive Punjab, which kept a tight vigil to prevent EBFC attackers from getting a clear look at the goal. East Bengal controlled the midfield and made a few impressive raids but failed to keep a single of its attempts on target in the opening session. Carles Cuadrat’s men also made an appeal for a penalty early in the opening quarter for a foul on Cleiton Silva by Punjab defender Nitesh Darjee but the referee chose to ignore it.

Punjab — relying on its youthful line-up — made a few effective counter-attacks and almost found the goal in the 36th minute but for the crosspiece that blocked Spanish midfielder Juan Mera’s left-footed attempt.

The Bengal outfit had its first real chance in the 58th minute but Brazilian striker Cleiton’s effort was saved by goalkeeper Kiran Limbu.

EBFC has nine points from eight matches and is in the sixth spot while Punjab FC stays in the 11th spot, now with five points.

The result: East Bengal FC 0 drew with Punjab FC 0.

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