KOCHI: Quality was missing as Malabar United and Chandni FC Calicut played out a disappointing goalless draw in the ONGC Second Division National Football League at the Maharaja’s Stadium here on Saturday evening.

For a major part of the game, the players could not even control the ball properly, mispasses were aplenty and shots were taken blindly.

“It was very painful to watch the game. The players could not even trap the ball properly,” said Olympian O. Chandrasekharan after the match between the two Kerala teams.

The teams lacked focus and ideas when they entered the box, frequently shooting over or wide. Malabar’s K.V. Kalesh, R. Prasoon, Jacken Sebastian and Chandni’s Abdul Ganniy were all guilty of wasting good chances.

But one move a little after the half-hour mark created a flutter. With the Malabar goalkeeper R.A. Ranjith rushing out, K.P. Zubair was well set to give Chandni the lead but defender Shakkil Patel rushed in and made a goalline save.

Malabar’s best chance came early in the second session but Asif, who received a nice cross from Jacken Sebastian, let it go.

Chandni had won the last encounter between the two, by a lone goal, at the State inter-club quarterfinal in Perinthalmanna a few weeks ago.

Sunday is a rest day and on Monday, Chandni FC takes on Viva Kerala. — Principal Correspondent

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