Chandigarh, Dec 16 (IANS) Chennai City FC remained unbeaten in the Hero I-League, thanks to a penalty save by Spanish keeper Santana in the injury time, after playing out a goalless draw at Panchkulas Tau Devi Lal stadium against hosts Minerva Punjab FC in Sundays first game.
Chennai restored a four point gap at the top of the league table.
The match did not rise to any great heights, however Chennai were the more dominant side particularly in the second half. Minerva, despite bolstering their attack with the return of the Japanese striker Yu Kuboki, who incidentally missed the penalty, also played out their second goalless draw of the season.
The result takes Chennai to 18 points from eight games while Minerva stay at fifth with 12 points from the same number of completed games.
Minerva had the first clear chance of the game within the first 10 minutes when a Lancine Toure header went wide off a well thought out set-piece.
Chennai’s best effort of the first half hour was a Pedro Manzi strike from outside the box which was safely collected by Bhaskar Roy.
In the second half, Chennai gained dominance and Nestor and Manzi combined well to create several chances, however their finishing left a lot to be desired.
At the end, Minerva had a golden opportunity to end Chennai’s unbeaten run, when referee Satosh Baskaran awarded them a penalty for a foul inside the box with only five minutes of added time left. Yu Kuboki stepped up to take it but a weak effort brought about a regulation save by keeper Santana.