First northeast derby end in 0-0 stalemate
The I-League's first North-East derby between United Sikkim and Shillong Lajong went a dull goalless draw at Palijor Stadium, here today.
The home side, without the presence of club's principal owner Bhaichung Bhutia, came out determined and created some good chances, but was denied by some great saves from Shillong Lajong goalkeeper L Ralte.
Central defender Minchol Son also stood our.
Ralte showed fantastic reflexes to deny a fierce header from United Sikkim central defender Sandesh Jhingan in the first half.
In the 36th minute, United Sikkim captain Michael Rodriguez floated in a free-kick from over 40 yards and Jhingan's shot to it was somehow kept out by Lajong defenders.
Sandesh's header off the resulting corner produced a spectacular save from Ralte who dived to his right and tipped the ball over the bar.
In response, a corner taken by Lajong was scrambled out by the United Sikkim defenders out of their box but the ball dropped in nicely for Jacob Lalrawngbawla.
His first time volley was smartly saved by United Sikkim goalkeeper Monotosh Ghosh.
Early in the second half, Minchol made a last minute slide to block a goal bound shot of DG Attivi.
Minchol also did enough to unsettle Nurudeen Salau from tapping in a cross in front of an open net.
United Sikkim entered the field today without a declared coach.
Interim coach Bhaichung Bhutia was away in his native village in Tinkitam, South district to attend the funeral of his father, who passed away on Thursday.
The new coach, Nathan Hall, arrived yesterday evening and would be taking charge from tomorrow.