Margao : In a match that seldom rose above mediocrity, Mahindra United of Mumbai were held goalless by bottom-placed local side Salgaocar Sports Club in a sixth round I-League football clash here at the Nehru Stadium Wednesday.
After their 3-0 win over Sporting Clube de Goa at the same venue in the last match, Mahindra had raised hopes of another match-winning performance.
But, despite coach Derrick Pereira trying as many as five strikers at different stages of the match, Mahindra could not put one past Salgaocar’s rookie goalkeeper Milagrio Medeira.
The draw did neither team’s chances any good, and, quite significantly, it did not harm the two former National Football League champions either.
The point meant Mahindra have seven after the sixth round while Salgaocar, yet to taste a win in six matches, have three points.
Both teams approached the match with a defensive mindset, though Mahindra appeared more enterprising and had better of the exchanges in the second session.
For the sparse crowd, there was little or nothing to cheer in the first session as the ball was mostly confined to the midfield.
After the change of ends, Mahindra opened up a bit, used the flanks better, but the final touch that translates a good move into a goal was missing.
Nigerian winger Bello Rasaq’s strong header that Salgaocar goalkeeper Milagrio Medeira acrobatically parried away for an abortive corner-kick, was the closest Mahindra got to the Salgaocar goal.
In-between, Douhou Pierre saw his feeble attempt wobble past the Salgaocar goalpost while Ghanaian striker Andrews Mensah was a trifle too slow in reaching across Steven Dias’ measured crosses from the right.
Salgaocar galvanised themselves towards the closing stages of the match with Agnelo Colaco’s header off a Rocus Lamare corner hitting the upright and rebounding back into play.
Minutes later, Salgacoar’s Nigerian striker Felix Chimaokwu made a mess after being fed on the platter by substitute Agnelo Barreto.
Mahindra defender Harpreet Singh was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Salgaocar: Milagrio Medeira (goalkeeper), Vincent Pires, Nicholas Rodrigues (Joe Rodrigues), Felix Chimaokwu, Agnelo Colaco, Boniface Ambani (Agnelo Barreto), Remus Gomes, Jerose Oliveira, Biju Kumar, Hery Habimana, Rocus Lamare
Mahindra United: Sandip Nandy (goalkeeper), Harpreet Singh, Sushanth Mathew, Andrews Mensah (Tarif Ahmed), Surajit Bose (Izumi Arata), D Ravanan, Sukhwinder Singh, Steven Dias, Bello Rasaq, Douhou Pierre (Manjit Singh).
Referee: Pradeep Kumar