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Minerva Punjab Football Club and DSK Shivajians FC played out a hard-fought goalless draw in a fast paced I-League clash at the Guru Nanak Stadium on Wednesday.
This was Minerva's fourth draw in the ongoing league. They are now eighth in the 10-team table with seven points from nine matches. DSK are sixth with 10 points from nine games.
DSK will now travel to Kolkata to lock horns with mighty Mohun Bagan in their next match while Minerva are scheduled to take on Churchill Brothers FC in Goa following an unbeaten four-game run.
DSK dominated the first half with the visitors threatening the Minerva defence with crosses flying in from either flank.
For DSK, Nirmal Chettri and Jerry Lalrinzuala floated accurate crosses seeking forward Sumeet Passi inside the Minerva penalty box. But Minerva goalkeeper Arnab Das Sharma, who enjoyed a great outing, did well to maintain a clean sheet.
The Pune-based team came close to scoring on several occasions even as the first half saw a major respite for Minerva when a controversial handball penalty appeal by the DSK players was turned down by the referee.
In the second half, Minerva adopted a more attacking approach. I-League debutant Girik Mahesh Khosla, who came on as a second half substitute for the hosts, made a fine attempt on goal which was punched to safety by DSK goalkeeper Subrata Paul.
It was end to end stuff in the closing stages with both teams playing the ball deep into the opposition half in their quest for the elusive goal. However, some excellent defending along with poor finishing by both sets of strikers ensured that the game ended goalless.
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