Odisha FC remained unbeaten at home but couldn't keep their 100% winning record intact after a goalless draw against ATK Mohun Bagan on Thursday in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. This was the first goalless draw in the ISL this season.
Saul Crespo's injury and Nandhakumar Sekar's suspension allowed Isaac Vanmalsawma and Pedro Martin to come into the starting XI for the hosts, while Sahil Panwar replaced Lalruatthara at left-back. Hugo Boumous dropped to the bench for ATKMB as 20-year-old striker Fardin Molla got his first Hero ISL start. Their other change saw Brendan Hamill return in defence, while Lenny Rodrigues was benched.
Opportunities were aplenty, but the first half ended without goals. Odisha kept more of the ball, but it was ATKMB who came close to breaking the deadlock. Despite attempting eight shots, the hosts failed to keep any of them on target.
In the 42nd minute, Liston Colaco cut the ball back from the left flank for ATKMB, and Carl McHugh put his boot through it before Amrinder Singh produced a save to keep it out.
Josep Gombau's side had their best opportunity in first-half stoppage time when Raynier Fernandes floated a promising ball in from a free kick. It came straight to Carlos Delgado, who headed it over the bar from close range.
In the second half, two minutes past the hour mark, Narender Gahlot's attempt from outside the box flew just wide of the far post. It was one-way traffic from there on as Odisha applied the pressure. In the 69th minute, Raynier's shot from the edge of the box was headed straight at Vishal Kaith before McHugh headed it over the bar.
In the 88th minute, the hosts came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock. Isaac played the ball in from the left flank towards the far post, where Gahlot headed it back across goal before Osama Malik's header from close range was tipped onto the crossbar by Kaith.