The Chennaiyin FC B team drew 0-0 with the Kerala Blasters FC Reserves in the opening game of their Second Division League campaign at the Panampilly Ground in Kochi today. Pragyan Gogoi missed a penalty for Kerala Blasters in the second half as both sides failed to find the finishing touch in front of goal.
Skipper Saurabh Meher, also the captain of the Chennaiyin FC U-18s, led the team out against their southern ISL rivals. Sayak Barai was in goal for Chennaiyin FC B as first-team squad members Hendry Antonay, Bedashwor Singh and Zonunmawia also started. The strike force comprised Chennai boy Syed Suhail Pasha and Mizo striker Bawlte Rohmingthanga along with Aman Chetri, who was in fine form for the Chennaiyin FC U-18s in the Elite Youth League Chennai zone with 7 goals to his name.
Chennaiyin FC B got off to a bright start and almost opened the scoring through Rohmingthanga on seven minutes. The Mizo striker won the ball in the Kerala Blasters FC half and drew a sharp save out of Sujith in the opposition goal. Chennaiyin FC had to make a change soon after, with Ajin Tom coming on for the injured Hendry.
Chennaiyin FC continued to see more of the ball up until the half hour mark. Then with half time approaching, the game became more end-to-end as both sides created chances but lacked precision in the final third. Chennaiyin FC were then forced into a second change just before the interval, as skipper Saurabh picked up an injury and had to make way for Mohammed Sarif Khan.
Chennaiyin FC B began the second half with intent as Bedashwor tested the keeper with a curled effort from the left. KBFC however posed a threat on the counter attack, keeping the Chennaiyin FC defence on its heels.
Kerala Blasters then had a big chance to open the scoring just past the hour mark. Chennaiyin FC keeper Sayak Barai was deemed to have brought down substitute John Jacob Kattookaren in the box as the latter was through on goal. Pragyan Gogoi stepped up for the hosts but put his spot-kick just wide.
With 15 minutes to go, Chennaiyin FC had the ball in the back of the net courtesy Bedashwor. But the goal was disallowed as Suhail was deemed to have fouled the Kerala Blasters keeper in the build-up.
The second half ended much like the first, with both teams threatening to break the deadlock with counter-attacks, however failing to land the killer blow.
Chennaiyin FC B head back to Chennai with a point, aiming to notch their first win of the campaign on Saturday, January 19 when they take on Bengaluru’s South United FC in a home tie at the SSN College Ground.