After a 1-1 draw in Vasco, NEROCA FC were held to a goalless draw by Indian Arrows at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium in Imphal, Manipur, on Tuesday.
The result only allowed the hosts (12 points from 12 games) go a point above Aizawl and East Bengal who both have a couple of games in hand. Te Indian youngsters now have eight points from 11 games.
Gift Raikhan named an unchanged side from the one that defeated TRAU FC 5-0 while Arrows coach Shanmugam Venkatesh made two changes to bring in Suranjit Singh and Bikash Yumnam in place of Harpreet Singh and Saurabh Meher.
The home side had the first shot on target as Phillip Adjah pulled the trigger in the first minute that required Lalbikhlua Jongte to stick out his left foot in order to pull off a save.
20 minutes into the game, Givson Singh and Vikram Singh sent their efforts wide. Adjah also struck wide after he received a through pass by Imran Khan in the 25th minute.
The second half started off with Vikram heading wide a long throw-in by Yumnam in the 50th minute. Then it was Boubacar Diarra's replacement, Ronald Singh, who got closest to finding the back of the net five minutes later.
Rohit Danu, who replaced Adhikari, also got close to breaking the deadlock but was denied from inside the box by NEROCA goalkeeper Marvin Phillip after Nikhil Raj cut back a cross from the right. There was six more minutes of added time at the end but the teams couldn't find a winning goal.