JCT, Punjab Police in
JCT Mills, Phagwara, struggling to stay afloat in the National Football League, were held to a goalless draw by bottom-placed Punjab Police in their 19th round match at the Guru Gobind Singh stadium in Jalandhar on Friday.
Both the Punjab sides went all out for victory in a bid to improve their placing on the 12-team league table, but had to rest content with a solitary point.
Following the draw, JCT have 15 points, one more than F C Kochi, while Punjab Police are placed at the bottom with nine points.
The policemen held a slight edge in the first half. Striker Praveen Kumar, Manjit Singh and Narinder, well supported by their skipper Kuldip, made a number of forays into the rival defence, but the millmen kept them at bay. Their defence did well to shadow the dangerous JCT skipper Stephen Abarowei and did not allow him to take a shot at their goal.
JCT, the winners of the inaugural National Football League, aware of the fact that a victory in the match would place them safely in tenth position, went all out in the second half. They reorganised themselves and Stephen, along with Jaswinder and Ram Pal, on a number of occasions, broke through the cops defence but Satish Kumar under the bar brought off a number of fine saves.
The millmen had their best chance in the 73rd minute when Hardip Saini moved the ball to Jaswinder, who slid it past the on-rushing defenders for his skipper. The tall Nigerian let loose a low right footer but to his astonishment Satish dived full length to his left to bring off a spectacular save.
The millmen missed the services of Hardip Sangha, who was injured, and even Hardip Gill played below par due to a knee injury. With Hardip Saini confined to the role of a play-maker, Stephen had virtually no support up-front.
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