I-League: TRAU FC plays goalless draw with Punjab FC
IMPHAL: Hosts TRAU FC played a goalless draw but entertained with Punjab FC in a I-League accessory in the Khuman Lampak main stadium on Saturday.
TRAU FC head coach Dimitris Dimitriou seemed happy to stick to his side's new-found resilience and made just one change with Ghanaian forward Kofi Tetteh starting upfront ahead of Krishnananda Singh in a classic 4-3-3 formation.
On the contrary, Yan Law made a catalog of changes to his Punjab FC line-up that dropped points away in Aizawl. Teah Baysah Dennis returned to the starting eleven, as did Cavin Wolf in the middle of the park
Dipanda Dicka, who has played an instrumental role as a super-sub this season, was also approved to begin.
Punjab FC started dominating the match with possession from the first whistle.
In the ninth minute, Lobo won a free kick for Punjab after being shot down by a TRAU player. Sanju shot and Danilo directed her just above the bar.
TRAU created its first opportunity of the game in the 17th minute, but that was not enough to threaten Nepalese captain Kiran Limbu.
In the 30th minute, Sanju's shot was blocked by the opposition's custodian, which could have broken the deadlock.
In the 37th minute, TRAU made a counterattack, but Abhishek Dash could not find the bottom of the net as his shot went over the crossbar when the first half ended with a 0-0 deadlock.
TRAU lost possession at the beginning of the second half when the warriors launched a series of attacks from both flanks with some threatening passes in the box, but neither of them was capitalized.
In the 62nd minute, Punjab FC coach Yan Law brought birthday boy Girik Khosla on to the pitch in search of the opening goal.
The hosts showed some quality with their attacks and suddenly seemed to be the best side, but they could not break the strong defensive line of the warriors.
With each passing minute, Punjab FC showed signs of desperation for the opening goal and in the 85th minute, skipper Sanju Pradhan He made an optimistic effort from 25 yards, which was far from perfect.
Honors were eventually shared at the full time. Punjab FC will now fly to Srinagar to face Real Kashmir on January 10.