Odisha FC and Mohun Bagan Super Giant played out a goalless draw in a 2023-24 Indian Super League clash on Saturday.

With competitors elevating their performance levels lately, the pressure has been built on the Juggernauts to not drop points in their pursuit of the top spot at the points table. Mumbai City FC had equalled them in points last night with their win over Chennaiyin FC, with only a superior goal difference keeping the Sergio Lobera-coached side ahead in the title race.

However, Odisha FC were unable to make the most of the opportunity at home against an upbeat Mohun Bagan Super Giant, who extended their unbeaten streak to five games under Antonio Lopez Habas.

Contrary to what the scoreline suggests, it was an end-to-end encounter that produced umpteen opportunities for either sides to break the deadlock. A total of nine shots were taken out of which six were on target, combined for both teams, with Isak Vanlalruatfela and Albanian striker Armando Sadiku leading the charge for their respective teams.

Vanlalruatfela, in particular, was a menace for the Mariners, coming close to bagging the first goal of the night for Odisha FC multiple times in the opening half.

He forced a mistake off Anwar Ali around the 20th minute mark, and targeted the top right corner but the shot failed to trouble Vishal Kaith. He had a duel with Kaith in the third minute too, making a dazzling run on the left flank before shooting his shot at the goalkeeper who held his composure to make a critical save by staying in his line.

He also had able support from his senior striking partners, Roy Krishna and Diego Mauricio. Just as the half was drawing to an end, Krishna laid up a pass for an onrushing Mauricio on the right flank. The Brazilian collected the pass in his stride, before unleashing a fierce shot that deflected off the crossbar.

Sadiku will be regretting not converting the several chances that came his way from close quarters. The striker had Asish Rai and Sahal Abdul Samad setting up deliveries for him both when he was at the edge of the box as well as at the centre in the 26th and 34th minute respectively.

But, his efforts couldn’t make it past Amrinder Singh, and so couldn’t the chances created by Dimitrios Petratos just as the second half begin.

Even the substitutions, featuring the likes of Jason Cummings and Cy Goddard couldn’t influence the proceedings to change the eventual outcome of the game.