Riding on some superb saves by Tharangachan Tungshang, Mohammedan Sporting held East Bengal goalless in their sixth-round encounter of the ONGC I-League at the floodlit Yuba Bharati Kirangan in Kolkata on Sunday.
Having suffered an early jolt with ace striker Yusif Yakubu, top-scorer in the League so far with three goals, out due to illness, East Bengal had to bring in Parveen Kumar early in the 20th minute.
The first half saw both teams squandering chances as they took time to settle down.
Minutes after Parveen's substitution, Mike Okoro set it up for Theodore Wrobeh near the goalpost. However, the latter made a mess of the opportunity.
East Bengal had another chance when they earned a free-kick, but only to see Rennedy Singh's effort blocked by Tungsang.
Immediately after the change-over, Parveen's shot seemed to come off Anit Ghosh's arm, but the penalty appeal was turned down by referee P K Bose.
Showing a sense of urgency, Mohammedan Sporting stepped up the tempo in the second-half with Okoro and Wrobeh looking to score on more than one occasion.
However, in the absence of experienced goalkeeper Subrata Pal, Abhra Mondal did a good job for East Bengal, making some fine saves.
East Bengal came close to scoring in the 72nd minute when Syed Rahim Nabi and Sunil Chhetri combined well but the India striker's header was brilliantly blocked by the Mohammedan Sporting goalkeeper.
East Bengal took their tally to eight points from six matches, while Mohammedan Sporting have six from six.