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Bagan strike late to hold leaders Mahindra
April 05, 2007 22:14 IST
Leaders Mahindra United conceded a last minute goal to finish 1-1 with three-time champions Mohun Bagan in a National Football League match in Kolkata on Thursday.
After a goalless opening session, the formidable Mumbai outfit went ahead in the 57th minute through Andrews Pomeyie Mensah. Seasoned campaigner Bhaichung Bhutia restored parity for the local side seconds before the final whistle in an absorbing tussle at the Salt Lake stadium.
Bagan's defenders and goalkeeper Shilton Pal were largely responsible for Mensah's goal. A faulty back pass was cleared by Pal, and the ball travelled to the right flank from where the dangerous Yousif Yakubu floated a centre towards the first post. Pal tried to collect, but the ball slipped out of his hands and Mensah, lurking nearby with no Bagan defender in sight, showed fine opportunism as he shot in from a very acute angle.
Thereafter Mahindra were all over their opponents but failed to increase the margin.
As Bagan's fate seemed sealed with the clock ticking on, Douglas da Silva, an excellent performer of the evening, released a defence-splitting long pass for Mehtab Hossain, who covered a couple of yards and addressed a square pass to an onrushing Bhutia. The lethal striker showed his vintage form to deflect the ball on the run into the net.
After 12 matches, Mahindra are now on 23 points, three ahead of nearest challengers Dempo Sports Club.
Bagan, after a dozen battles, have moved up to 13 points, and now occupy the eighth position.