Old football warhorses Mohun Bagan managed to pull out a miraculous draw after CS Sabeeth scored a late equaliser against debutants Bengaluru FC in the first round of their I-League encounter at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday.
It was the home team that drew first blood in the 49th minute of the match, when Aussie striker Sean Rooney poked home against the run of play.
Just when it looked that the home side was headed for a dream debut, Sabeeth spoilt the perfect party as the Bagan striker headed a ball into the Bengaluru FC net deep into second half stoppage time.
Earlier both the teams missed one penalty each and the teams had to be satisfied with one point each.
The offenders were Yusa Katsumi in the first half and Rooney post the breather, the latter ruing the chance to cap a brace for his new club.
Despite playing their first match, it the home side that started strongly penetrating into the Bagan box within the first five minutes of play.
The visitors then came back strongly thanks to some brilliant ball play by Katsumi in the midfield. Despite missing the penalty early on, Bagan managed to create some chances but failed to find the back of the net.
The hosts were unlucky when John Johnson’s header hit the post in the 34th minute.
In the second half, Bagan started showing nerves as they conceded the goal and then a penalty. Trailing 1-0, they pressed hard for the equaliser but were unlucky a couple of times. Katsumi hit the woodwork in the 60th and 69th minute respectively.
Sunil Chhetri who came in as a substitute for the hosts in the second half got a great opportunity in the 83th minute, but his shot went wide.
One minute later, Siam Hangal got a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 for the hosts, but he failed to round off the goalkeeper.
The hosts were reduced to ten men in the 90th when Thoi Singh was shown a red card following his second booking.
Image: Action from the I-League match played between Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan in Bangalore on Sunday