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Coventry, Middlesbrough all square after 1st leg of Championship playoff

Morgan Harlow / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Coventry and Middlesbrough fought out a tense 0-0 draw in the Championship playoff semi-final first leg on Sunday.

Looking to end a 22-year wait to return to the Premier League, Coventry could not muster a shot on target at the CBS Arena.

Sky Blues keeper Ben Wilson kept the hosts on level terms with two fine saves in the first half.

Michael Carrick's Middlesbrough will now look to make better use of home advantage when the two sides meet in the decisive second leg at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday.

Former Manchester United midfielder Carrick has led Middlesbrough to the playoffs in his first season in charge after succeeding the sacked Chris Wilder.

But winning promotion via the playoffs is the acid test of Carrick's impressive start to management.

Six days on from facing each other on the final day of the regular season, the first big chance went Middlesbrough's way after 13 minutes when Riley McGree played the ball through and Chuba Akpom's dink deflected off Wilson and onto the bar.

Coventry soon had Wilson to thank again for keeping the game goalless.

Isaiah Jones found himself in behind down the right and the wing-back's effort from a narrow angle needed turning behind by Coventry's last line of defence.

Jones then had the ball in the net for Boro four minutes before half-time after being played through by Akpom, but the assistant's flag had already been raised for offside.

Middlesbrough threatened again early in the second half as Akpom headed McGree's cross narrowly wide.

Viktor Gyokeres, Coventry's leading scorer, barely had a kick.

His eagerness to get more involved prevented Kyle McFadzean having a sight of goal from Gustavo Hamer's corner as the first leg ended in a stalemate.

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