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Air India holds Chirag United

Principal Correspondent

KOLKATA: Air India got its defensive strategy right in holding Chirag United SC to a goalless draw in the third-round encounter of the I-League here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday.

Despite having a greater share of ball possession, United SC failed to force the advantage into goals as its Brazil-Nigeria combination of Joshimar Da Silva and Elijah Junior stuttered in the striking zone.

With the host probing the opponent box frequently, the visitor stuck to the basics of defending making first time clearances.

Offside

Junior found the mark once in the 33rd minute off a quick build-up through the left but the forward was ruled offside.

There was drama during the match when the Air India's coach Yousuf Ansari was asked to leave the field for showing resentment to referee's decision.

The referee strangely did not follow the practice of flashing a red card to the erring coach, but instructed his colleague – fourth official – on the sidelines to escort the latter out of the ground.

PTI adds

At Margao, two first-half strikes helped defending champion Dempo blank JCT 2-0 at the Nehru Stadium.

Dempo, which notched up its first win after a draw and a loss, scored through Roberto Silva (31st) and Ranty Martins (35th).

Playmaker Roberto Silva, who was playing his first match after skipping the earlier two matches, controlled the midfield and kept the attack moving.

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