Kerala Blasters FC were held to a goalless draw by a 10-man NorthEast United FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium here Thursday.
The draw kept the hosts in the fifth spot with 16 points after 13 matches, just outside the qualifying positions for the semi-final.
Kerala created several opportunities but failed to convert any of them.
They also enjoyed numerical superiority for the last quarter of an hour when NorthEast forward James Keene was expelled after displaying unsportsmanlike conduct to a dangerous challenge from Kerala striker Michael Chopra.
Kerala pressed to break the deadlock at the final stages of the match but just could not muster the all-important goal.
The match was, nonetheless, entertaining as both teams went forward in search of goals that would have secured them crucial three points.
Kerala got the first proper chance in the 22nd minute when Milagres and Stephen Paul Pearson, of the home team, combined to come close to scoring but NorthEast goalkeeper Rehenesh was up to the task pulling off a fine save.
NorthEast had their moments too, none for glaring than Miguel Garcia’s header of a corner that was cleared off the line by Mehtab Hossain.
Attacks and counter-attacks made the match an interesting spectacle as both team went into the break at 0-0.
The change of ends didn’t change the flow of the contest as both teams continued to fire blanks.
NorthEast also didn’t benefit from the draw, remaining at the seventh spot with 14 points from 13 matches.